Inspired by one of the works in the exhibition, Mending the Sky takes its title from a Chinese fable in which a rip in the sky causes the earth to split open, bringing floods, fires, famine, and disease—until a goddess comes to take on the arduous task of mending the broken sky. Each of the artworks in the exhibition help give shape to the aftermath of calamity, building towards a more equitable future by helping to envision the new world that might rise in the wake of crisis. Premiering several major new acquisitions by both locally based and internationally recognized artists, Mending the Sky brings a global perspective to issues currently affecting the city of New Orleans, the United States and the world. With roots in Brazil, China, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Vietnam, India, Europe, and the American South, each of these artist projects are also acts of world-building that offer a glimpse of a future that cannot yet be seen.
“Mending the Sky touches on the many complex ideas that we, as a community, have been challenged to address in the times of COVID-19,” says Susan Taylor, Montine McDaniel Freeman Director at NOMA. “This is an exhibition about loss and uncertainty, but also creates space for recovery, healing, and hope.”
“Mending the Sky focuses on artists who consider the crucial actions of care, healing and coming together,” says exhibition curator Katie A. Pfohl. “Each of them recognizes the hard work of recovery: that we must remedy the challenges of the past and address present issues to forge a new path forward.”