In conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month a new public art project in Lexington, Kentucky went on display on October 22nd in honor of domestic violence survivors, showcasing their strength and courage. Entitled, Tiles for Relief, the public art project was comprised of poured melted aluminum, shaped by molds- made of sand and resin. “After cooling, the molds will break away and the individual tiles will be put together to form a mural.” The 100-piece tile mural represents designs by survivors participating in the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program and the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center at the University of Kentucky. The project was developed by Niah Soult, an art therapist at Bluegrass who says the mural “depicts a woman in mid-scream.” Soult says the women felt like the image recalls what “relief” can look like for survivors.
The Centers partnered with local non-profit, Sculpture Trails Traveling Foundry, who was in charge of pouring the hot aluminum into the molds. Guests gathered on the 22nd to witness the 1,500 degree liquid metal be transformed into tiles. Project organizers have been searching for “a highly visible spot near downtown” for the work to be located but have yet to find one ever since the original location fell through. Finding a permanent home for the work is key suggested Bluegrasses’ executive director, Darlene Thomas, who explained that domestic violence survivors struggle with feelings of alienation, so to have a physical place for the community to gather would be of the upmost significance. In closing, Thomas reflected on their choice of material, stating that the durability and longevity of aluminum was as much a symbolic choice as a literal one, in that the material’s physical assets reflected the resilience of survivors.
CLICK HERE to read the original article and learn more about this community project.