Client: Discovery Green
Location: Houston, TX, United States
Completion date: 2008
Artwork budget: $50,000
Public Art Agent
Discovery Green Conservatory
David Graeve Art
Lens – Pluralism – Bubbles, created with a visual and conceptual perspective by artist David Graeve, was designed to be integrated into Discovery Green’s old-growth area and to be inclusive of sightlines from all directions of the park. The art consists of 36 illuminated globes, hung from the branches of 100-year-old live oaks, covered with a photographic printed image, ranging from 3’ to 5’ in diameter covering an area 206’ x 47’ wide.
This art, commissioned by Discovery Green with an integration of space and concept in mind, was created with photographic printing and translucent rubber paint on illuminated globes. Discovery Green’s goal for Lens - Pluralism – Bubbles was to enliven and animate the beautiful allée of live oaks for the holiday season with an illuminated work of art.
The success of this project involved the Discovery Green Public Art Committee, who approved the concept of altering the original works for a new and fresh installation; park groundskeepers, who helped maintain and repair the hanging art; and an independent lighting company who assisted in the lighting of the globes. The globes bring to life an assembly of photographs— old and new— of children, peace leaders and civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela, and even photos of the artist, David Graeve, and his family. These images were carefully selected by the artist to help observers establish a connection to the culture, community and neighborhood of Houston. “Lens-Pluralism-Bubbles” contains 30 images that were taken at Discovery Green, while others were gathered from Houston’s Rothko Chapel and from members of the community. Graeve painted the exterior of each balloon with transparent rubber paint and lit each globe internally with energy-efficient fluorescent lights.
Although Lens - Pluralism – Bubbles is an extension of social memory and a new and innovative approach to light painting on a grand scale, the greatest aspect, perhaps, is the shared public experience and response. Thousands of photos are taken of this piece each year and people come from great distances just to see the art and sit beneath it.