Jessica Straus ruminates on love and war in “TransAtlantic,” the Newton artist’s installation at Boston Sculptors Gallery from Dec. 12, 2018, to Jan. 27, 2019. Maps of eastern North America and western Europe cover the gallery’s walls and floor with model boats and planes ferrying letters between France and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Originally commissioned for as a site-specific installation in France’s northwestern Normandy region, the artwork was sparked by a story from World War II. “Straus’s parents met as a result of her American father’s participation as a soldier in the Normandy invasion and subsequent march into Paris, where he met the artist’s mother, a French student,” the gallery announcement explains.
The artist’s boats and planes carry “correspondence between the artist’s American and French families. Straus conceived of this work just as the current administration was coming into power, reacting with alarm to the disturbing new era of xenophobia and nationalistic supremacy. ‘TransAtlantic’ serves as a reminder of the importance of alliances between nations and the possibilities that surface with openness to strangers.”
(By the bye: Straus has a lovely blog called “Quirk,” often featuring folk art out in the world.)
If this is the kind of coverage of arts, cultures and activisms you appreciate, please support Wonderland by contributing to Wonderland on Patreon. And sign up for our free, weekly newsletter so that you don’t miss any of our reporting.