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Janet Lee and Purva Chawla's “A Rock is a Seed” to exhibit at Carkeek Park, Seattle

Janet Lee and Purva Chawla's “A Rock is a Seed” to exhibit at Carkeek Park, Seattle

“A Rock is a Seed”, Land Art Installation, is selected as one of the winning entries for the Heaven and Earth Outdoor Art Exhibition 2016, to be held in Carkeek Park, Seattle. Organized each year by the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department along with the Office of Arts and Culture, Carkeek Park Advisory Council, and the Associated Recreation Council of Seattle, the exhibition is in its ninth year now.

The product of designer duo Janet Lee and Purva Chawla, "A Rock is a Seed" is an installation (see images above and below) that speaks powerfully to this year's theme for the outdoor exhibition- 'Wild Germination.'

Janet is a Seattle, Washington-based artist and designer, and currently holds the position of Arts Coordinator for the City of Redmond. Purva is the Founding Editor for design website MaterialDriven.com and a practicing Landscape Designer and Architect. The pair met during their time at the University of Pennsylvania and are thrilled about their collaboration on this exciting, built project. 

Each year, the winning proposals for the Heaven and Earth Art exhibition are constructed in the summer and displayed from late July to October. Over 100,000 visitors come to Carkeek Park over the summer and interact with these outdoor art installations. 

Read more about "A Rock is a Seed " and the artist duo for this installation below.

Another material iteration of "A Rock is a Seed" shows rocks and planting within the Gabions as the medium.

Another material iteration of "A Rock is a Seed" shows rocks and planting within the Gabions as the medium.

About:

“A Rock is a Seed” is a 30-foot wide Gabion sculpture rising from a gentle height of one and a half feet at the center to roughly five feet at the apex. Gabions are“cages” or steel wire mesh formwork which can be filled with rocks or chunks of concrete. Gabions are often used for building embankments and retaining walls. They are often modular and can easily be installed, moved, and disassembled without leaving behind a trace.

The physical structure of “A Rock is a Seed” rises from an array of materials- rock, wood, found objects, planting- all encased within the frame of metal gabions. Stone or rock rubble is the primary material here. It allows the installation to be grounded and firm, as well as being flexible to the form and being assembled and disassembled in no time.

The secondary material will be a combination of small stones and found material from the site, both of which will create space and a structure for flowers and plants to grow into throughout the summer. Working with park staff, some found material from the site may be highlighted. Options include cut branches, recycled glass, or even different types of brambles.

The base form for the Gabion Sculpture and Land Art develops.

The base form for the Gabion Sculpture and Land Art develops.

Artist’s Statement:

"Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower."– John Harrigan

For the summer of 2016, the artist team has imagined what a germination of happiness in Carkeek Park might look like with the sculpture “A Rock is A Seed.” The sculpture is designed to encourage play, reflection, curiosity and shared happiness because one act of happiness germinates much more and one act of unhappiness does the same.

The physical structure of ”A Rock is a seed” rises from an array of natural materials–rock, plants, and wood that are arranged to create a vibrant pattern which shows how one act multiplies and intertwines with other acts to germinate change. The simple but dramatic curvature of the form against the dark backdrop of trees is designed to not only be crisp and visually pleasing but to carve out a more intimate “outdoor room” for families and friends to gather and share a happy memory. Although gabions are most often used to “hold back” earth and other heavy materials, the gabions of this sculpture hold back air and the day-to-day existence, creating a space just for growing one happy thought.

Materials Palette

Materials Palette

Artists’ Biographies:

Purva has long been intrigued by the ways in which materials and products can shape design. From being selected as a runner-up for Metropolis Magazine's “Shape the Future” Competition to spearheading the 2016 launch of design website and forum MaterialDriven.Com, Purva has built up expertise in the realm of materials. 

Janet Lee has led several award-winning public art initiatives including the creation of a public art corridor through the GardenWalk shopping district in Anaheim, California, and starting a pilot program for temporary uses on vacant lots. 

Bringing together Purva’s love of working with recycled and 'upcycled' materials, and Janet’s passion for art-driven public space, this installation aims to show how materials inspire outdoor art, and how this art can create a significant public space.

Contact the artists:

Purva Chawla: purvachawla@gmail.com

Janet Lee lee: janethannah@gmail.com

 

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