Porto. Image courtesy of Enrique Diaz
Net installations by Janet Echelman
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.
Amsterdam. Image courtesy of Klaas Fopma
Echelman is currently embarking on her largest piece ever, a 700-foot-long sculpture that will be suspended over Vancouver next month in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the TED Conference. Echelman’s sculpture, titled “Skies Painted with Unnumbered Sparks“, is presented with an original interactive work created in collaboration with Aaron Koblin, who Echelman met when they both spoke at TED2011.
Denver. Image courtesy of Peter van der Warker
The sculpture is an extension of the idea Echelman presented in her talk, “Taking imagination seriously.” In the talk, Echelman shares how she fell in love with a new material – fishing net – and began creating voluptuous forms that contrast with the hard edges generally found in cities. She revealed the challenge of making these sculptures both durable and permanent, but also able to react to the wind.
Phoenix. Image courtesy of Janet Echelman
She shared her dream of taking these sculptures to the next level by finding materials light enough to attach to existing buildings in a neighborhood rather than requiring a new supporting steel structure.
Phoenix. Image courtesy of Christina O’Haver
Recent prominent works include: “Her Secret is Patience” spanning two city blocks in downtown Phoenix, “Water Sky Garden” which premiered for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, “She Changes” on the waterfront in Porto, Portugal, and “Every Beating Second” in San Francisco Airport’s new Terminal Two.