Boat made from basketball court flooring and abandoned playground remnants
15ft long x 13ft tall

Ladders made from basketball court flooring and abandoned playground remnants, turf rubber crumb, acrylic and chain link.
7' tall x 20" wide each

Curator, Alison Hiltner's exhibition statement:

Delicate and Filled with Dynamite is about the past, yet it still embodies the present. Aaron S. Coleman’s exhibition is about how wounds from injustice can be transformed into a vehicle to transport those inflicted with scars into a better future, or at least a more hopeful one. 

This vessel is constructed with discarded basketball court flooring from the gym at the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis campus. This basketball court's eventual location was in downtown Indianapolis, and the construction and development of the city's downtown area displaced a massive and vibrant Black population. Coleman rebuilds from the pieces of disruption and displacement while bringing attention to the pervasive acts of racial injustice. The boat is adorned with the remnants of an abandoned playground found on Coleman’s property, a memorandum to childhoods lost.  This exhibition is a continuation of his previous work, In the Wake, which draws a conceptual anchor from Christina Sharpe’s book of the same title.

“Living in the wake means living the history and present of terror, from slavery to the present, as the ground of our everyday Black existence; living the historically and geographically dis/continuous but always present and endlessly reinvigorated brutality in, and on, our bodies while even as that terror is visited on our bodies the realities of that terror are erased.”

― Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being 

Coleman is thinking about the simultaneity of joy and pain in Black life; The cotton field and the football field, the criminal justice court and the basketball court, Tamir Rice on that playground, those lost at sea during the transatlantic slave trade, the ripple effects of that slave trade, and the cleansing and transporting powers of water. He is also conjuring images from Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “The Water Dancer” as the inspiration for this sailing vessel. It is a vehicle for an imagined future. It is hopeful, and it mourns.

Interview with Coleman: