Sometimes controversial, often beautiful, installation art is always fascinating. Mundane but necessary public structures like parking garages become beautiful landmarks that inspire the imagination and create a sense of place. What began as a movement to create work that made a statement has become a way for communities to inspire residents and visitors—a way for communities to define themselves.
Who is Karin Giusti?
Karin Giusti can’t remember ever not being an artist. As an undergraduate at U Mass Amherst, Karin’s Swiss sculpture professor told the class the story of George de Mestral, who was inspired to create the first hook and loop fastener by the burrs of the burdock plant. Karin had no idea at the time that Velcro Companies would become such a key player in her work. Karin went on to finish a Master’s Degree in Sculpture at Yale University School of Art.
Karin’s Installation Art
Wanting to commemorate the tragedy of 9-11, Karin created an installation to memorialize Stephen G. Schwarz. He was a firefighter who helped save lives at the twin towers and sadly passed away in 2010.
She wanted to create thirty-foot, backlit images of Schwartz’s farm. It became quickly apparent that finding a way to bring her vision to life would require some very specialized techniques. She was looking for something that was low-profile so it would disappear into the work. It also had to be flexible, allowing her to form giant cylinders. But most importantly, she needed to be able to open the tubes up to install and maintain the lighting easily.
Karin remembered her professor talking about the invention of VELCRO® Brand hook and loop fasteners, so she contacted the team at Velcro Companies in Manchester, New Hampshire, for help. The team recommended a powerful, low-profile product that she could use to fabricate the entire exhibition that consisted of 15 enormous pillars.
“The team recommended a product that allowed me to realize my vision without impacting the integrity of the work,” Karin explains.
How our fasteners help with her art
Karin’s projects are inspired by a site, an idea, or an event that has happened. Once she has sketched out her design, she begins to make models of the installation art. At this point, VELCRO® Brand products become integral parts of the work, enabling her to achieve her vision.
In homage to Providence, Rhode Island’s history as the nation’s textile capital, Karin wanted to represent the “warp and weft” of a textile weave in her project. VELCRO® Brand products enabled her to create installation art that not only made her vision possible but allowed her to install it herself. The vibrant colors are beautiful during the day, but at night, the backlighting seems to create a “third space” symbolizing a coming together of the real and the imagined, so the work is called “Dreamweave.”
“Using light in my work symbolizes transformation and awakening.”
Using VELCRO® Brand Hook and Loop to attach the ends of images printed on backlit material has allowed Karin to create shapes illuminated from within for some projects and seamlessly integrate her work into the very architecture of a building for others. VELCRO® Brand Fasteners provide virtually endless possibilities. Best of all, the hook and loop fasteners are barely visible and make the work easy to transport and set up the installation art.
“Using VELCRO® Brand Fasteners has afforded me design features that make some of these installations possible! It would be difficult, if not impossible, to make some of my installation art without it.”
Giusti is grateful to so many people who helped “Dreamweave” become a reality, including FirstWorks, the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, and Bliss Properties, owners and operators of the Civic Center Garage, as well as Velcro Companies.
Stay on the blog to discover even more VELCRO® Brand artists: