Rachel Sullivan | Grand Pistachio

Layer the Walls Part Two
Artistic Discipline: Music
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2022
Location: Prospect Heights

LAYER THE WALLS explores the stories held in one tenement apartment in the Lower East Side. As various immigrant families moved into the apartment, they often put up wallpaper to make the space feel like their own. Thus the apartment was left with 40 layers of paint and wallpaper. As each piece of wallpaper is pulled down, the stories of that particular family come to life with various forms of puppetry! LAYER THE WALLS originally explored stories from 1870-1909 and with BAC support we are able to include a new story. Set in 1977 this new piece centers on the experience of 13 year old Jin and her grandmother, Nai Nai, who have recently moved from China to NYC for educational opportunities. Jin struggles to adjust to a new language and a shifting identity. Eventually, her love of the moon and the NYC Blackout of 1977 help her find her way. Told with stop motion techniques and shadow puppetry this piece was inspired by interviews with seniors at the Homecrest Senior Center. The story will be shared with local Brooklyn Public Library branches in Fall 2022.

Image: Layer The Walls. Photo by Hyphen Photography.