Congratulations to Nelly Bonilla, our 2016 Summer Stipend Recipient

The Great Divide is being shown as part of Amnesty International’s Art for Amnesty showcase in Miami.

Nelly Bonilla works as part of a Home Eleven creating designs out of common materials like paper, PVC pipe, and string. The Great Divide is constructed from torn law books and broken glass to create a vortex only some people are allowed to enter, while others are left on the outside looking in. A gatekeeper decides who is permitted to experience the journey of the winding space. If you are not chosen, you can only watch, and wonder.

Nelly’s description of the project in her Summer Stipend Application made clear the social intent of this work: “The treatment of refugees has always been filled with complex issues and laws that seem to fog the instinctual nature of helping those in need. To highlight this ever-growing problem we envision a large 15-foot vortex-like structure made of overlapping pages from law books.”

Here are some of the nice things our panelists had to say:

“High five for engaging with the complicated and broad situation that is the refuge experience, and distilling a part of it into something so visceral with this installation.”

“I think her work is visually compelling and is addressing important subjects. I appreciate the way she uses spectacle to engender an empathic response in the participants.”

“It would be great to think of ways that people could experience this project past its physical installation.”

Nelly will use the $1000 Stipend to help offset costs of installation, for interior lighting, and to compensate the person playing the gatekeeper.