Strange Fruit

   by Kyle Lane and Nicole Kruzel and Sahar Chavoshi for Build A Dream (2014)

To build our project we used the packing peanuts in the shipping box, aluminum wire, strings from the canvas cloth, tempered hardwood, modeling clay, plaster cloth wrap, wooden mannequin, natural sea sponge, and some pieces of cardboard from the original box. We also added our own paint, water and glue.

Our techniques involved building a base using the cardboard, packing peanuts and wire to create the foundation of our tree. We then covered the tree and roots with plaster cloth wrap and painted it using acrylic paints. The details of the piece were created using the clay (hanging fruit, faces on the tree...) and the wooden mannequin was also covered in clay and paint. The nooses were created by pulling strings off of the canvas cloth and we cut and glued pieces of the sponge to create "moss" on the tree and roots.

We decided "dreams" are also nightmares. Our piece was primarily inspired by a real dream of one team member about a magical tree, but in order to make it more "dark" we decided to use Billie Holiday's song "Strange Fruit" as inspiration as well. Our project, overall features things like bleeding fruit hanging on nooses, a white person (sexually ambiguous) eating the phallic fruit while laying on his back with blood dripping onto his face. In Holiday's song, the "strange fruit" refers to African Americans being hung from trees, while ours is an overall representation of minorities (blacks, homosexuals, etc). I guess you can say the whole thing is a commentary on race relations, taboos, and homophobia in society. It brings out the "nightmare" that is today's social norms.

We had a year to build this project and decided to submit it on the very last day. Are we the only ones? =)