Bending In and Out, a Progression

0

Client: Denver Botanic Gardens

Location: Denver, CO, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $50,000

Project Team

Artist

Will Clift

Landscape Architect

Ebi Kondo

Denver Botanic Gardens

Overview

I was selected in this competitive RFP to produce a sculpture for the Denver Botanic Gardens' permanent collection. My concept was 'growth,' in keeping with the Gardens mission. The three forms comprising this work develop from one to the next, like a plant emerging from the ground and flowering, while remaining largely abstract. The work measures 90″ x 144″ x 10″, and is constructed of steel, carbon fiber composite, and an automotive finish.

Goals

The Gardens had selected a long, narrow site for a new commissioned sculpture, and in their RFP said only that they were looking for something relevant to the site. After visiting the site several times, the concept of 'growth' occurred to me, and I developed several concepts around that. The sculpture sits in a heavily-trafficked area, and also one where plantings are often changed. Thus the form needed to be strong but flexible so that depending on the Gardens' programming at the time, it would fit in.

Process

I worked closely with Garden staff, from the Director to the Lead Gardener, to volunteer docents to understand the space, how visitors used it, how the Gardens used it, and what the environmental demands on a sculpture would be. The Lead Gardener in particular was a close collaborator, as this area of the Gardens was his purview. He called it a 'home run' upon completion.

Additional Information

The carbon fiber material has held up extremely well over the last 3.5 years, including withstanding one of the worst hail storms in the last 50 years.