Photo by Julienne Schaer

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On view through October 2022

Extend­ed through Octo­ber 302022

Bring­ing new life to Our Lady Star of the Sea, Mar­tin uses her sig­na­ture black and white draw­ings to cre­ate a liv­ing, vis­i­ble bea­con in the Island’s His­toric Dis­trict. Inspired by her per­son­al expe­ri­ences and research on the vibrant his­to­ry of the Island, the exte­ri­or invites vis­i­tors to cir­cum­nav­i­gate the for­mer chapel’s archi­tec­ture through image and nar­ra­tive, engag­ing with the dynamism of the land­scapes that sur­round it. In this way, the work serves to high­light and help re-imag­ine a build­ing that has long been emp­ty and closed to the pub­lic. Reflect­ing upon the building’s his­to­ry, Martin’s large-scale draw­ing pays trib­ute to the dis­used for­mer mil­i­tary struc­ture and hon­ors its lega­cy as a place of great sig­nif­i­cance on the Island dur­ing its half-cen­tu­ry of active use. 

With the inte­ri­or, Shantell Mar­tin cre­ates a labyrinthine instal­la­tion span­ning the floors and walls of the build­ing that act as a place of both qui­et reprieve and shared dis­cus­sion. To expand on her mon­u­men­tal work Church, which trans­formed the façade of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Mar­tin now reimag­ines the inte­ri­or of this for­mer chapel built in 1942 with her sig­na­ture black-and-white line draw­ings. Cus­tom-built fur­ni­ture in the shape of let­ters that can be arranged to spell out words dot the floor of the space, allow­ing vis­i­tors to touch and inter­act with the work. The building’s nave, which has been closed to the pub­lic since 1996, was restored as part of this project.

Built in 1942, Our Lady Star of the Sea orig­i­nal­ly opened as a Catholic chapel dur­ing the Sec­ond World War and the expan­sion of the for­mer U.S. Army base. Serv­ing as a cen­tral hub of reli­gious activ­i­ty on the Island along with near­by St. Cor­nelius Chapel, Our Lady Star of the Sea remained in use until 1996 when the U.S. Coast Guard ceased oper­a­tions on Gov­er­nors Island. Decon­se­crat­ed for over 20 years, the for­mer chapel is one of the few non-land­marked build­ings locat­ed with­in the Gov­er­nors Island His­toric Dis­trict. Martin’s project brings new life and vis­i­bil­i­ty to the for­mer chapel for the first time in years.

On view through October 2022