Wonder!

Yesterday we visited the newly renovated Renwick Gallery to see the first exhibit, appropriately titled, Wonder. It was all that and more. As soon as you enter, you are drawn up the red carpet staircase to something colorful and luminous beyond. As it turns out, it is an artistic energy map of the Tohoku Tsunami as it rippled across the Pacific Ocean in 2011.

Tohoku Tsunami

Tohoku Tsunami by Janet Echelman

In wonder of the tsunami above

In wonder of the tsunami above me

Each room was more wonderous that the next. This wooden sculpture was made from a cast of a 150 year-old tree, used as a form for a half-million hand-carved pieces of reclaimed wood, joined together to recreate the memory of its origins.

MIddle Fork Cascades by John Grade

MIddle Fork Cascades by John Grade

Cascades

Memory of a tree

Another amazing reference to trees in the landscape was a room full of nest-like pods by Patrick Dougherty. I have long admired his work and was thrilled to experience it in person.

Woven willow branches by Patrick Dougherty

Woven willow branches by Patrick Dougherty

My Nest

In the Nest

Water, trees and…bugs! And yes, they are real bugs. The bright color on the walls is made of bug juice and the decorations you see here are created out of fanciful patterns of a variety of insects.

Midnight in the Garden

Midnight in the Garden by Jennifer Angus

Bugs up close

Bugs, up close and personal

Moving from nature to man-made materials, this next piece was created from chards of old tires. You could still smell the rubber.

Rubber Landscape by Chakaia Booker

Rubber Landscape by Chakaia Booker

Next was a piece by Maya Lin, made of thousands of glass marbles. She is famous for the design of the Vietnam Memorial.

Folding the Chesapeake by Maya Lin

Folding the Chesapeake by Maya Lin

Not to be outdone in the category of OCD installations, Tara Donovan created this fantastic series of mounds out of styrofoam cups and index cards.  They reminded me of termite mounds.

Mystery Mounds

Untitled Landscape by Tara Donovan

Untitled Landscape by Tara Donovan

Mysterious Mounds

Begining and ending with light was Plexis A1, a study in illusion. This rainbow is made of string, but for all the world it appears as light itself.

Plexis A1 by Gabriel Dawe

Plexis A1 by Gabriel Dawe

Illusionary Rainbow

Illusionary Rainbow

It is truly a wonder what we humans can create to take us beyond our everyday world. If you are in DC, be sure to let yourself go!

Energy Map of Tohoku Tsunami

Energy Map of Tohoku Tsunami

About randyjmueller

Sr. Instrument Repair technician
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