Disaster-Proof Mobile Unit

Disaster-Proof Mobile Unit


On view April 12-July 8, 2022

A collaborative community project, led by artist Tracey Snelling, with curator Amanda Krugliak, students from the University of Michigan, the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County at the Robert J. Delonis Center and Freighthouse Day Shelter (Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti), shelter for New Americans in Hamtramck, the Ann Arbor Art Center, and community from Michigan.


Photos courtesy of the artist

Disaster-Proof Mobile Unit is an extension of Snelling’s project, How to Build a Disaster Proof House, which contemplates the uncertainty, displacement, and disenfranchisement that frames the present day.  It asks, how do we find a safe place, protected from bad weather and circumstance, in an era of floods, fires, violence, abuse, and pandemics?  Snelling finds a route for escape by constructing big and small sculptural worlds, private and public.

Through community workshops held throughout the area, Snelling led participants in creating their own small-scale rooms or dwellings…”a room of one’s own” reflective of their personal feelings and ideas about home, safety, and dreams.  The final workshop took place at A2AC on April 12, 2022.  The event was an opportunity for stakeholders in our local arts and culture ecosystem to connect with each other and to help us imagine how we might develop the new A2AC Gallery into an inclusive space for exhibitions, events, and art-making.


Tracey Snelling

Official Sites: Website | Instagram | Facebook


Through the use of sculpture, photography, video, and large-scale installation, Tracey Snelling gives her impression of a place, its people, and their experience. Often, the cinematic image stands in for real life as it plays out behind windows in the buildings, sometimes creating a sense of mystery, other times stressing the mundane. Snelling’s work derives from voyeurism, film noir, and geographical and architectural location. Within this idea of location, themes develop that transport observation into the realm of storytelling, with reality and sociological study being the focus.

Snelling’s core skill as an artist is to capture the essence of time and place, engaging with her surroundings and merging its residents, localities, and atmospheric peculiarities into her work. By exploring the immediate environment, studying every detail, and extracting specific highlights, Snelling transforms the information into artworks, best described as 3-D non-linear sculptural films. Combining sculpture, video, light, sound, and sometimes even water and smell, they capture places and people at a specific time in history.

Tracey Snelling’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Belgium; Palazzo Reale, Milan; Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Kunstmuseen Krefeld Germany; El Museo de Arte de Banco de la Republica, Bogota; the Stenersen Museet, Oslo, and the Sundance Film Festival. Her work was exhibited at the 2019 Havana Biennale and Venice Biennale. Snelling is at U-M this winter term 2022 as the current Roman Witt Artist in Residence.

View more of the artist’s work at traceysnelling.com

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