I’ve been researching artists working in the realm of public art that are using soft materials. I came up with 3 women, with different and equally impressive bodies of work.
“American artist Janet Echelman reshapes urban airspace with monumental, fluidly moving sculpture that responds to environmental forces including wind, water, and sunlight.” excerpted from her website. This all started for her when she was on a Fulbright lectureship in India. She had promised to give painting exhibitions around the country but her paints that she shipped never arrived. Watching the fisherman bundling their nets at night she decided to enlist their knowledge and with their help made her first large sculpture. By the end of the year she had a series of lightweight volumetric sculptures made out of netting. The rest is history as she continues to make and install her beauties in cities around the world.
“Kendall Buster, also American, was initially trained as a microbiologist. While working in a laboratory she was inspired by the beauty she saw under the microscope and took a turn into art. While working as a lab technician in a hospital she had the desire to bring the beauty she saw through the microscope to life. She went to art school and her drawings blossomed into beautiful biomorphic sculptures. Her materials include metal armatures covered with shade cloth. When light passes through the cloth the forms are transparent but in the lack of light they are opaque.
Jan Blake from the UK is working with silk organza painted with procion dyes. She draws from her extensive background in theatre design for her public art commissions . She says in her artist statement
“Light and movement are the essence of my work.
My preoccupation is to capture moments at a point of
anticipation and change
……a sudden breeze through grass, the unseen intervention.
……The tension of silk that supports steel, the unseen strength.
….. A seed pod about to disperse its seeds …….. unravelling.”
excerpted from her website
A woman after my own heart and she generously shares her process on her website.
Here are some of the steps in her process.