Mother Clara’s Garden © Shinique Smith 2013 , 2500 square foot mosaic, stained glass, hand made ceramics and glass smalti, Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot, Harlem, NY
Shinique Smith collected clothing, fabric and other cast-off materials from the community surrounding Hale House and the Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot to incorporate in her original artwork. A child’s drawing of a bus stop found near Hale House influenced her deeply and became the source of inspiration for the artwork. “This (child’s) drawing inspired my palette,” Smith said. “We are all connected by childhood dreams and memories threaded through clothing and the things we consume and discard. I have taken these unwanted bits and woven them into a garden in an attempt to embody the spirit of Mother Clara, creating beauty and grace from humble materials.”
The original work of Mother Hale’s Garden is composed of ten large‐scale panels of colorful painted collage and centers on a spiritual motif of mother and child‐like figures embracing in an abstracted garden. Smith worked with Mosaika Art & Design to translate the original work into mosaic, using tiles uniquely made for the project to create roughness and texture on the surface, a process similar to a collage.