When a Kentucky grand jury failed to indict police officers responsible for killing 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, multidisciplinary artist Shanequa Gay turned to her work in a search for justice. Her exhibit “holding space for nobility: a memorial for Breonna Taylor” opened last week at the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill.
With oils and acrylics, Gay combined larger-than-life images of Taylor with nature and animals that represent unity and community. Gay’s own experience with a loss that left her family with many unanswered questions sparked her desire to build artistic spaces for memorializing lost life. Host Frank Stasil talks with Gay about the exhibit and what it means to “hold space” through art.