Common Ground is an interactive sculpture created by New York City-based artist and Aldrich alumna Risa Puno that celebrates harmony and inclusion through diversity. Puno’s work is a grid of connected tables and benches that are each tiled with a different mosaic design. Originally commissioned by the NYC Parks and Recreation Department as part of the Art in the Parks: UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant for Rufus King Park in Jamaica, Queens, the designs were inspired by the surrounding neighborhood’s unique mix of cultures and iconic architecture.
Risa Puno makes interactive sculptures and installations that put a playful twist on familiar pastimes and amusements. She investigates the language of communal objects and spaces, and builds works that changes how we think about, and define, community. Whether she’s building jungle gyms, mazes, golf courses, or benches, Puno creates points of access that allow participants to feel nostalgia, desire, competition, comfort, or even frustration. The key to understanding her work is to physically engage with it —to use it, play with it, touch it, and sometimes even smell or taste it. While she makes every effort to craft objects that are beautiful and alluring, her main objective is to create evocative and memorable experiences for the people who use them.
Top image: Risa Puno, Common Ground, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.