Brisbane-born and New York-based artist Cj Hendry is celebrated for her transformative approach to contemporary material culture, creating large-scale, hyper-photorealistic drawings. In works such as “Monochrome” and “Rorschach,” Hendry invites audiences to enjoy visual feasts that are also immersive, engaging, and thought-provoking. Her commitment to interactive art has attracted a vast and diverse audience, with people often queuing for hours to delve into her imaginative realms.

Jing Daily Culture recently caught up with Cj Hendry to discuss her latest ambitious endeavor, the HOOPS Tree, a public art installation in Miami’s Wynwood art district. This installation, standing at an impressive 20 feet and adorned with 34 basketball hoops, represents a significant pivot in Hendry’s career towards more permanent and publicly accessible art.

HOOPS Tree. Image: Cj Hendry

Can you share the inspiration behind the HOOPS Tree installation in Miami and discuss how this project marks an evolution in your artistic journey?

Hoops has been a concept I have been percolating for years; this tree combines my passion for highly stylised conceptual exhibitions with the need to make my art more permanent and accessible to a wider audience.

How do you see the HOOPS Tree installation complementing and interacting with Miami’s cultural and physical landscape, especially in the Wynwood art district?

Hoops tree’s color is Yves Klein Blue, a deep blue hue, and in my opinion, it’s one of the most captivating colors ever developed. Also, it blends perfectly into the backdrop of the blue ocean and the rich blue Miami skyline. I’m so happy it’s in the Wynwood art district as the area is renowned and internationally recognized.

Could you elaborate on the technical challenges and innovative solutions you encountered while creating the HOOPS Tree?

Talking about all the challenges would require a novel. I hope to never publish a novel so I guess I will have to take all the secrets to my grave. Just know they have been vast and very very expensive and more shocking than you can imagine.

When you eventually see the tree in the ground just take one second to appreciate its beauty and the energy it took from hundreds of different people in order to make this dream come to life.

Image: Cj Hendry

What motivated you to incorporate an interactive element, like the million-dollar basketball challenge, into the HOOPS Tree installation?

To keep things exciting and [because] it would be amazing to see someone sink all 34 baskets one after another.

In what ways do the exclusive drawings associated with the HOOPS Tree reflect your artistic style and your relationship with your audience?

The goal is to never expect anyone to interact in any particular way. Whenever I build a concept I just make it and then what will be will be. This is no different and my drawings are always an element with every project I do.

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