This Wood and Motar Art Installation Redefines Colour and Design | Black – Still

Conceptualized by enFOLD Collective in collaboration with arts non-profit Materials & Applications, Craft Contemporary in Los Angeles has hosted a remarkable installation Black – Still. Towering at 12ft, this pavilion stands as a tribute to the iconic La Brea Tar Pits nearby while embracing the theme of community well-being. Know more about it on SURFACES REPORTER (SR).


Towering at 12ft, this pavilion stands as a tribute to the iconic La Brea Tar Pits nearby while embracing the theme of community well-being.

Wrapped in a captivating exterior of wood lath and mortar, the Black – Still structure’s design pays homage to the geological forces beneath Los Angeles that emerge through human-made infrastructure. The black-painted lath panels, numbering around 2,000, are seemingly penetrated by the oozing mortar—a nod to hidden, powerful forces shaping the city’s landscape. Internally, the pavilion offers a contrasting experience with its open-air configuration. A wall of black geotextile mesh awaits visitors, inviting them to interact by tying fabric strips to it. Created as a haven for tranquility and shared experiences, the structure is open to the public.


The black-painted lath panels, numbering around 2,000, are seemingly penetrated by the oozing mortar—a nod to hidden, powerful forces shaping the city’s landscape.

Equipped with misters, it has become a platform for diverse events and programming since its inauguration in late May 2023. Beyond its functionality, Black – Still serves as a commentary on the colour black in the design realm, both as a literal colour and symbolically representing Blackness. Accordingly to Dana McKinney White and Megan Echols, co-founders of enFOLD Collective, the choice of black was initially inspired by meditation and stillness and had been later reinforced by the allure of tar. The Black – Still installation also prompts contemplation of the design industry’s utilization of the colour black. Notably, models, plans and walls are commonly rendered in white. The pavilion, through its unconventional use of black, encourages a fresh perspective on colour in design.


A wall of black geotextile mesh awaits visitors, inviting them to interact by tying fabric strips to it.

The project was a response to the bustling surroundings of the Craft Contemporary museum’s courtyard, nestled in central Los Angeles. The pavilion ingeniously occupies the compact space between the museum building and a fence bordering the street. A foundation of recycled tire rubber mulch isolates the calming aura of the installation from the rest of the site. Seeking to establish a serene haven for reflection, enFOLD Collective aptly molded the Black – Still installation’s form as a monolith. They aimed to counteract distractions and create a calming ambiance, with the monolithic form responding harmoniously to the unique space it inhabits. Conversely, the pavilion’s intriguing exterior texture is designed to induce a pause, urging visitors to contemplate and engage.

Image credit: Sam Wadieh

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