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BLINK artist and exhibit honors Breonna Taylor

An image from the virtual reality Breonna's Garden.
Lady PheOnix
An image from the virtual reality Breonna's Garden.

Many of the BLINK exhibits this weekend are big, like light projection mapping on the sides of buildings. Two are much more intimate. "Breonna's Garden," which is presented in two formats in two locations, honors the life of a Louisville woman killed by police officers in 2020.

Artist Lady PheOnix has created an augmented reality and a virtual reality tribute for Taylor. She worked with Breonna's sister, Ju'niyah, to show the audience their love.

“Ultimately this is a story about love and a project about love," PheOnix says. "I want them to walk away feeling more love, and more life. And maybe more gratitude for the people around them in their lives and their own breath.”

Early on the morning of March 13, 2020, three Louisville police officers served a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s apartment. Her boyfriend opened fire — believing it was a home invasion, according to his lawyer — and police fired back. Taylor was hit eight times.

“I want people to walk away with a sense of healing; that this is a safe place for them to heal and be fully self-expressed. I want them to understand that outside of the media, Breonna had a whole life and was a whole person,” PheOnix says.

The augmented reality display at Smale Riverfront Park integrates real flowers and plants with computer images. It can be viewed on a smartphone or tablet.

“We’ve constructed this garden setting using a built environment and using some of the aspects from the app. People open the app (and) Breonna appears there in her garden with tulips and butterflies. It’s really beautiful.”

The augmented reality display is at the Rose Garden in Smale Riverfront Park. The full virtual reality experience in Over-the-Rhine will take visitors into a recreation of Breonna's home, also with real plants and flowers in the room.

Breonna's World is re-created virtually at the Confetti Room at 1531 Race Street.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.