Common Threads

Completion: 2020

Description: Common Threads is inspired by the iconic image of civil rights leaders crossing arms across their bodies and holding hands to show solidarity between people of all races and backgrounds. The artistic composition of folded arms and hands is created by a parametrically generated pattern that evokes the close-up configuration of woven fabric or city streets.

Weaving is a powerful metaphor for “crossover” in how we interact and learn from others. The power of the weaving metaphor lies in its very basic structure. The over and under aspect of a woven fabric reinforces the notion of complementary, diverse elements.  One thread or strand of fiber provides support from one angle, which is further supported in the other direction by another. The tighter the weave, the stronger – strength through diversity, celebrating cultural heritage and human rights legacy.

The close-up of folded arms and hands are intended to be taken from both historical photos or custom photography, allowing viewers to wonder if these folded arms and hands come from historical Civil Rights leaders or members of the community. The close-up treatment of the composition powerfully gestures towards an egalitarian sensibility, looking forward to the ongoing struggle for civil rights carried out across generations. This becomes a metaphor for a community urban fabric that is connected from an urban scale, but also on a personal scale with individuals coming together, hand-in-hand, in the struggle for Civil Rights.

Design Optimization/Management: METALAB