HOLR sits down to chat with artist Bourn Rich, and director, Rachel Myers, of BOURN KIND.
BOURN KIND was one of Tribeca Film Festival’s most inspiring films, and today HOLR is chatting with artist Bourn Rich, and director, Rachel Myers of BOURN KIND to learn more about the project. In addition to being a film, BOURN KIND is a social activism project and street art campaign.
In the film and real-life mural campaign Bourn, a Black and Jewish street artist decides to confront the fear and isolation of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement through his art. He realizes that we are no longer seeing one another, so he creates an interactive street art mural project to celebrate kindness and connection within his community.
Keep reading to learn all about Bourn and Rachel’s passion project and what they hope people take away from BOURN KIND.
Why was this an important project for you to be a part of?
Rachel Myers: I think it’s important to make work that speaks to your values.
I approached the artist Bourn Rich to collaborate with me on this project after I made a drawing in the early part of the pandemic with the idea and wrote a script called “tiny kindness “ about what are all the things that we’re feeling and unable to communicate to each other as we are in our homes and masked during the fear and isolation of that time. Some of the early ideas for messages that people put on their masks were things like, “I see you“, “ I am hurting too”, and “ sending love”, It was about the polarization of the moment in America when the country took to the streets to protest for the Black Lives Matter movement and how tiny gestures can make a change in our communities and culture.
At its core, the project is about connection. It’s a really simple idea about how respecting and acknowledging one another despite our differences can shape the nation and world for good with love, respect, and kindness.
What do you hope people will take away from Bourn Kind?
Rachel Myers: My hope is that people leave the film and smile at a stranger, talk to a person on the street that they don’t know, and open up their hearts and homes with love and warmth to one another. The project came out of the values in how I was raised. My parents are both are very involved in giving to the community. My whole life, my mother has been perpetually warm and kind to strangers in conversation, Perpetually Conversing, complimenting, and inviting people to engage with love. These are the values in how I lead my life and my hope is that in this moment of tension in our nation that simple acts of kindness make a difference in our communities.
Bourn Rich is a creative force, so was there a big collaborative effort on this film? What was the filming process like?
Rachel Myers: I shared the script for the film with Rich and originally wrote the part of “the artist “as an actor and Rich was going to create the paintings and murals for the film. But as we got to know one another I realized Rich would be perfect to play himself in the film, so it became a vérité movie and a fusion of scripted and documentary. As an artist Rich has a following and a voice that is very aligned with the themes and messages of the project. He is political in his art and his identity as a black Jewish artist comes across in his work which was important to me to highlight.
We created the project for real on the streets of LA. We set up a table in the park with messages and invited people in the community to come and participate. Then we did it again on the streets of Melrose Blvd. and in New York this summer. People came out from the neighborhood, and we invited them to participate in the artwork, and murals were created in both cities for real. The mural that you see in the film is a Mural that Rich painted for the film and the project. The project is a social activism project and engagement between artists and the community. I believe in the power of public art and Rich, and I engaged throughout in collaboration to make the murals come to life in these 2 communities.
What was the catalyst that made you want to create the ‘Tiny Kindness Project?
Bourn Rich: The catalyst that made me want to create was the moment Rachel contacted me with the idea she had. It was brilliant.
When did you start using art as a form of expression?
Bourn Rich: I was born an artist but started professionally in 2007.
How did your upbringing or experience growing up shape you as an artist?
Bourn Rich: My upbringing in California shaped me as an artist to be a free spirit, a skateboarder, loving hip-hop, graffiti, and comic books.
Is there a standout moment for you in your career thus far?
Bourn Rich: My standout moment was flying to New York to paint a mural for the film, attending the Tribeca Festival, and having an amazing response.
What do you hope people take away from Bourn Kind?
Bourn Rich: What I hope people take away from the film is that a little bit of kindness can go a long way in this world empathy and just putting your shoes on the other foot and seeing other people‘s experiences.
Published by HOLR Magazine.