Javaughn Renee, “The Chest: Tools of War and Peace”
March 4 – April 25, 2010
Javaughn Renee’s installation, “The Chest: Tools of War and Peace,” originated from visions she had about the Iraq war. Ideas for much of the installation were inspired by a visit to a thrift store, where she observed an isle of florescent spaceships and water guns which looked like current military weapons.
Both war and peace tools are found in “The Chest,” and the subtle, often monochromatic works are informed by Quaker traditional aesthetics. She uses the idea of “simple speech,” as she builds silhouettes for concepts, beliefs and ideas that at times bring us to commit violence toward each other and sometimes bring us together.
Javaughn Renee lives in South Bend Indiana, but grew up in the culturally, economically, and geographically diverse area of Southern California. With limited funds and an ambivalence about the art world, she paints, draws and collects simple materials to create works that reveal the complexities of our humanity.
Javaughn’s first group shows were at The Unurban Café in Santa Monica, and El Mercado La Paloma in Los Angeles, and featured her colorful watercolors and oil pastels. After moving to South Bend, however, she continued an idea she began in a show at the Pasadena American Friends Service Committee in 2002. Her work, titled (), was her first piece in an installation about war. Although that work has since been destroyed, it inspired “The Chest: Tools of War and Peace.”