More than 1,800 linear feet of orange-red, green and yellow flagging tape cover a chain-link fence on Main Street in Old Town Newhall. As people walk by, some stop for a moment, tilt their head and move a little closer to read what is written.
A red tape reads: “My other half and finances – affected emotionally, and we are working it out by communicating and coming to our senses.” A yellow tape reads: “I’m learning to be a patient mother of twins.” Another reads: “PTSD Iraq War.” A green tape reads: “Becoming the girl strong enough to go to college and travel far lengths to chase my dreams.”
This community art piece, called Barriers, was conceived by local visual artist Diana Kado and produced by Forge Ahead Arts. At various public events in June, July and August, people were asked to choose a piece of colored flagging tape and write about a “barrier” in their lives. Red stood for obstacles that are present and hard to overcome, yellow for barriers that are being managed, and green for barriers that have been overcome. So at a glance, the viewer knows where that person is with that particular barrier.
More than 200 people shared stories about obstacles in their lives to create this art installation. The stories were then woven into a 70-foot chain-link fence adjacent to the Mac’s Pool and Spa Supply construction site on Main Street in Newhall.
“The narratives have been inspiring and humbling,” Kado said. “I hope this project helps people come together through sharing their barriers. Instead of letting barriers divide us, they should bring us together and be transcended.”
The installation will be up throughout September – and perhaps October, depending on how the materials withstand the weather.
Community narratives can also be read at forgeaheadarts.org/barriers-project.
Forge Ahead Arts (forgeaheadarts.org) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that creates and produces public art installations and events that stimulate creativity and dialogue in Santa Clarita.