Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"the search for lightness."

I always admire artists that can think big and even more so big in public environments. So much of public art consists of large metal objects that when an artist is able to work in the public sphere with unexpected materials I am excited. So when I got a link to an article on public artworks in the San Francisco airport I was pumped to see the work of Janet Echelman, a NY based artist.

Janet makes HUGE net like sculptures, generally supported by metal armatures, that live in and respond to the environment. They move through the air, change with the light, support snow, get wet in the rain, and often invite public interaction.

On her website it states:

Janet Echelman builds living, breathing sculpture environments that respond to the forces of nature — wind, water and light— and become inviting focal points for civic life. Exploring the potential of unlikely materials, from fishing net to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create her permanent sculpture at the scale of buildings. Experiential in nature, the result is sculpture that shifts from being an object you look at, to something you can get lost in.

The quote she has on her artist statement is perfect for her powerful work:

“…the search for lightness is a reaction to the weight of living.”
– Italo Calvino

In order to understand the impressive scale of her work you need to visit her website and look through the images- it is pretty much amazing.

She also has given a recent TED talk titled "Taking Imagination Seriously."

see more of her work here.

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