Nevermore Park By Hebru Brantley

Lil Mama's Cranium Lil Mama's Cranium

When a child falls asleep on a hazy Saturday morning with cartoons blaring behind their eyelids, Nevermore Park is what their dreams look like. A fantastical machination of local legend Hebru Brantley, Nevermore Park is a comic-infused wonderland deeply bred in the Chicago tradition.

Step carefully through the exhibit and you’ll be met with a barrage of static blaring from rustic, box T.V.s. Some channels hopelessly filled with the cacophonous pixels, but others display flashes of news clips or cartoons fighting through to tell us something. The boxsets stacked precariously ontop of each other usher up Poltergeist-like images of malice, but something tells you to keep walking, it’ll be alright.

Passing the T.Vs, you’ll land in a cavern of colorful neon signs and symbols that perfectly cater to a child’s heightened sensitivities. Soothing purple and pink hues encapsulate you while unnervingly fluorescent signs blare throughout corners of the park. The enticing exhibit induces a wanderlust that’ll have you oohing and ahhing long past the point of acceptability.

The simple and mundane become starting points for untold adventure to be had. A simple train car situated to the right of the entrance transforms into a hideout or rendezvous for superheroes waiting for their next mission. An amalgamation of rusty bike parts and used toys serve as wallpaper for the coveted clubhouse on the left wall.

Towards the back rests a malevolent arboretum cascading along a concrete backdrop. Giovanni’s rose fights for a small patch of attention among the industrial material to create an Ivy League-esque facade that marvels and forces you to pause for a moment.

If all that weren’t enough there’s an entire spaceship that’s crash landed in the park. Human-sized, the crashed vessel looks like Clark Kent’s vehicle as he descended violently into the plains of Smallville. Missing from the ship are it’s pilots and passengers, who’ve by now escaped the flaming wreckage to wander the park alongside us. Where was the ship supposed to land? What shot it down? Where are the drivers?

At the center of it all sits a giant sculpture of Lil Mama’s cranium. The giant colorful dome has a small entrance where you can look through the carved out skull and see the world from Lil Mama’s eyes. Perhaps after you leave her head, you’ll to search the recesses of your own mind and remember what it’s like to be a child again.