The delicate nature of folded paper meets the massive stature of metal sculpture during Origami in the Garden from May 7 to October 16 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
The traveling exhibit features 18 installations of nearly 70 larger-than-life sculptures inspired by origami – the age-old Japanese art of paper folding – created by Santa Fe artists Jennifer and Kevin Box in their largest outdoor exhibition at this day. Throughout the Midtown Garden, look for massive sculptures – made of paper and wax formed into cast metal pieces – of flying birds, emerging butterflies, blooming flowers, grazing deer and other flora and fauna themes. from wildlife.
One of the highlights of the exhibit is Kevin Box’s most ambitious work, “Master Peace,” a 24-foot-tall monument in the Howell Fountain depicting 1,000 stainless steel origami cranes of peace, recognized around the world as a symbol of peace. The monument is made up of 500 cranes, while the other 500 are scattered around the world in individual collections and represented in the exhibition by reflections in the water basin of the fountain below.
“The beautiful metaphor of origami, for me, is that it all starts with a simple uncut square,” he said. “It’s a great metaphor for life. What we do with it is really what defines us. Every kink has a consequence, just like every decision in your life.”
And that’s how the husband and wife team starts any sculpture – by folding a single uncut sheet of paper. Using a 35-step, 12-week-plus “lost-wax casting technique,” they apply wax to folded paper and create individually shaped molds that are welded together to make sculptures that are cast in bronze, aluminum or stainless steel – a process Kevin Box has spent years developing to capture every intimate detail of folded paper.
Created in 2013, Origami in the Garden elevates origami to a new level so that the delicate art form is accessible; visitors are encouraged to take a close look at the folds in the metal that replicate the folds in paper.
Another highlight of the exhibition is “Inside Out”, an educational exhibition at the Gardenhouse Gallery which features original paper models and unfolded wall hangings by nationally and internationally renowned origami artists, showing the internal architecture of each room.
Kevin Box, whose background is in papermaking, printmaking and graphic design, said staging the show in a public garden was a natural fit for his work. “Origami is made from paper, paper is made from plants, so in many ways it ties into the mission of a botanical garden,” said the artist, who spent part from his first career working in an Atlanta foundry.
Environmentally conscious artists use recycled metal in the majority of the casting process for the sculptures, all of which are 100% recyclable.
The exhibition features the Boxes’ own compositions as well as collaborations with world-renowned origami artists Robert J. Lang, Michael G. LaFosse and Beth Johnson.
“Origami animals, blooming flowers, crumpled ideas and innovative abstraction are all themes that inform the surface of my work,” says Kevin Box. “Each piece has a title, a reason and a purpose to contribute to the story I tell beneath the surface. The content of the work is driven by my concepts of truth, my philosophy of chaos and consciousness, of creation and evolution, the process of creativity and relationships, and responsibilities to each other.”
Origami in the Garden, included in regular admission to the Garden, can also be enjoyed during the evening hours at Cocktails in the Garden when the sculptures are dramatically lit.
Guests can get a taste of the exhibit through a new sculpture loaned to Midtown Alliance at Peachtree and Tenth streets. “Conversation Peace” features the unlikely combination of rock, paper and scissors, symbolizing, according to Box, conflicting forces that have found a balance.
For more information, visit atlantabg.org and outsidetheboxstudio.com.
For press releases and high-res images, visit the media site at atlantabg.org/media. The mission of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is to develop and maintain plant collections for the purposes of exhibition, education, research, conservation, and enjoyment. The garden is located at 1345 Piedmont Ave. NOT. For more information, visit atlantabg.org or call 404-876-5859.