Sometimes it takes another person’s perspective on a familiar place or object to see it in a new light–drawing an outline around a space highlights an additional dimension. Be it a Parisian bridge that is crossed by thousands daily without a second’s thought, or pathways through Manhattan’s Central Park, both locations represent an aspect of the “heart of the city”. (For centuries, the Pont Neuf has literally been the heart of Paris, connecting the Île de la Cité with the left and right banks of the Seine, and the eponymous nature of Central Park requires little explanation.)
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Janet Echelman, Her Secret is Patience, Phoenix, AZ, U.S.A. 2009
American artist Janet Echelman has worked in numerous mediums throughout her career and has a long history of working collaboratively with communities outside of her own culture, whether it be Balinese textile artisans or Indian bronze castors.
A Fulbright lectureship about painting brought her to Mahabalipuram, India, a fishing village in Tamil Nadu famous for sculpture. But it was watching the millennia-old craft of weaving and working with nets that ultimately inspired the work that now defines her art. When she watched the men making piles of nets on the shore she began wondering if the material was “a way to create volumetric form without heavy, solid materials.” Continue reading →