“A big premise behind The Great Break is to collaborate with different artists and create unique pieces in different formats,” explains founder Jared Kohn, outlining how a recent project with friend Ross Symons brought this to life.

Ross Symons below the installation

Kohn was approached by the Gone Outdoor store in Cape Town to do some form of installation for the increasingly popular First Thursdays. “I was not just about me doing flat illustration design but bringing in new dimension to an artwork,” Kohn says.

“Ross and I had done a collaboration before which went up in Salt Circle,” he says. “We did an artwork and I immediately thought it was a great opportunity to do some sort of installation with him again.”

“We’d worked well together (on that previous project) and enjoyed the whole process of combining an idea of a taking two-dimensional artwork, which is on a flat piece of paper and then taking that flat piece into a three dimensional format (which is essentially what Ross does).”

According to Kohn there was this really interesting contrasting relationship and cross over between the two crafts.

“The brief was to relate the installation to the water crisis that was happening in the Western Cape. It didn’t have to be the only focal point but we thought it a relevant influence at the time,”

Kohn explains.

The two didn’t have a huge budget so wanted to keep it simple but interactive. “If it couldn’t be aesthetically impressive to look at from far, we wanted people to engage with it,” he says.

The two then came up with the idea to create a virtual rain shower out of origami diamonds which had been illustrated on by Kohn. “I did various elements of nature,” he says. “From water to plants, mountains and rivers.”

The diamond shape worked well as a ‘raindrop’ and was just the most obvious choice for the two, who suspended these ‘raindrops’ from the ceiling down to a seat and focal point. People then had the opportunity to go and sit down and take photos underneath this rain shower, by way of interaction.

“It ended up looking great and we were pleased with the outcome, it was a nice meaningful piece,”

Kohn says.

“I think in hindsight we could’ve made it much bigger which would’ve made it more impactful but a lot more time consuming (it took two days to install). But this is what we learn on our journey as creators, the practical versus the ideal. There is no benefit in having a great idea that cannot be translated into something tangible”

In addition the pair sold some of their artworks. Symons sold print photographs of his current origami series – an Instagram series of miniature origami, while Kohn sold various signed pieces.

After the First Thursday event, the installation was relocated to the Gone Outdoor store and then stayed there until the end of that month. Throughout that month people had the opportunity to take a photo of themselves interacting with the installation and then enter a competition to win some prizes from the store and some art works from the duo.

“What it was, was showing people a new way of doing things, to a degree – it was, in essence, advertising for us as well, but it was exciting to do. With this project and the previous one we learned a heck of a lot, in terms of getting it done,” Kohn muses. “It was definitely about it having meaning and uniqueness in terms of a collaboration between the different crafts and about being interactive and a talking point for people who viewed and experienced it. We’re looking forward to doing more for sure,”

he concluded.

Written by: Ross Symons