The phenomenon of displacement, whether stemming from conflict, economic forces, or environmental shifts, exerts a profound influence not solely on those directly uprooted, but also on their subsequent generations. The repercussions of displacement, encompassing personal experiences, enduring traumas, and cultural disconnections, extend across time, impacting not just the displaced individuals but echoing into the lives of their descendants are explored in Kingston Gallery’s current solo exhibition, “Krystle Brown: Better Homes Than Gardens,” through October 1.
Within this exhibition lies a poignant exploration of the concept of “home,” delving beyond its physical embodiment to reveal the intricate tapestry of economic, societal and governmental structures that mold the pursuit of a secure dwelling. Through a multidisciplinary approach including painting, photography, installation, and thought-provoking narratives, the artist offers a critical dissection of the housing crisis and its far-reaching socio-economic ramifications.
The bedrock of the artist’s personal journey forms the basis for this thought-stirring exploration, incorporating Brown’s ancestral voyage and transition from Ireland to the United States, a narrative imprinted in her DNA. The passing of her parents exposed her to a dilapidated family home, sparking a reflective odyssey into the core of “home” and its vulnerabilities. This introspection ripples through her neighborhood, city, and country, culminating in an array of works that challenge preconceived notions and confront uncomfortable truths about societal complicity in the housing and poverty crises, as well as the authentic significance, yearning or even necessity of belonging. While presenting new creations, Brown interweaves them with some of her past endeavors, including a previous public art intervention in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a place not only geographically significant to herself but also emotionally resonant due to the memories of her mother.
The concept-driven approach underpinning this exhibition is palpable through various mediums, each selected to convey distinct facets of the artist’s message. The work “Thank Your Lucky Stars” introduces a whimsical touch, by employing nostalgic elements like a custom View-Master toy, juxtaposed with memories, aspirations of collective prosperity and the stark realities of inequality.