Client: National Tropical Botanical Gardens Kauai
Location: Lawai, HI, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $25,000
National Tropical Botanical Gardens
The National Tropical Botanic Gardens in Kauai created an 800 foot trail to encompass plant evolution for the last 450 years on earth. My project involved creating the section where human intervention stirs the ecological pot and over boils. They wanted people to feel uncomfortable there. I did not want to point out any one particular cause of this eco-disaster but kept it very open ended.
This was the section of the trail where viewers confronted a disaster. I tried to make the cause of this sites condition as open ended as possible...tsunami, explosion, comet, war, financial abandonment... the results are there for the viewer to ingest. It is in stark contrast to the Beautiful display of the bio trails diverse plant life and gives the viewers pause of where we are in shaping the world today.
I functioned as the artist designer and listened to the objectives of the NTBG. To keep the budget down their heavy equipment operators were involved in constructing the project and we worked in tandem on concrete pours, earth and rock moving as equipment was available. They have a great crew! I also got to use scrap materials from the abandoned Koloa sugar mill due to their board members connections. This was invaluable to the project budget and overall scale. The NTBG director Andy Jasper was amazing in using a light touch while steering the project toward their goals. He gives an artist room to create.
This was the most fun combined with hard work I have EVER had on a public art project. The objectives of the garden to preserve plant life on this planet are beyond admirable. I was very proud to have a part in this Bio diversity trail.