Client: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Location: Richmond, VA, United States
Completion date: 2023
Artwork budget: $400,000
Sculpture Artist, fabrication, installation
Kate Raudenbush LLC
Exhibitions Director, Client
Beth Anne Booth
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
metal supplier/ Laser cutting
Sha Michele Arts
Through immersive art, Incanto explores our human nature and invites guests to journey into a transformational space of self-inquiry. Commissioned for the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia,
each sculpture of Incanto emerges out of the garden landscape in dialogue with a poem. The five artworks evolved from existential themes the artists felt during the pandemic : observing humanity’s technological embrace and imbalance with nature; finding resonance through connection with others; experiencing how struggle shapes and evolves our identity; discovering a grounding connection to spirit, and finding stillness in the present moment on our journey of life.
Visitors are encouraged to journal and explore sculptures that call to them, and resonate with the spoken poetry on an audio tour. Some works will form gathering spaces; some are symbolic portals to journey through, and others will invite contemplation and meditation.
materials: corten steel mirrored hammered stainless steel, brass, bronze, accents: etched glass, wood, resin, LED lighting, integrated landscaping
Incanto is a journey through a sculptural epic poem embraced by nature... the sculptures were sized and designed for specific locations and sight-lines inside the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden: Resonant Passage is immersed in the water of the sunken garden and the brass Pyramid becomes a fountain with water flowing down the mirrored stairs. Seed of Self is a meditation space, in hidden in the conifer garden. Breaking Point creates a dynamic threshold of personal ritual to walk through on your path. Source Code creates a dramatic industrial contrast and vista against the Conservatory at the top of the hill, and Ancestors is feels like a conduit to the Spirit world set at the entrance of a secluded woodland path. The artworks all have integrated lighting that creates an entirely different experience of the artworks at night, and welcomed an new audience to the garden with extended evening viewing hours.. Working closely with the horticulture team : 2 of the 5 sculptures have integrated planters so that nature would play a starring role in the look of the artworks. All plants were chosen to resonate with intention and aesthetic of the artworks, surrounding it like an energetic container.
Inspired by the deep personal themes and tone of the Incanto show and the intention to create a healing experience for the viewers after the pandemic, it was an incredible experience collaborating with each team. everyone was on board and we all felt we were bringing forth something really special. This made the hard work extremely meaningful.
The five monumental sculpture works explore these deep concepts: Source Code: The sculpture’s tripod-like towers allude to the balance our ambitions must find with the resources of Nature, as the foundation of all human kind’s inventions are based on the raw material of our Earth as its source code. Resonant Passage: Like meeting at the intersection of different paths up the same mountain, Resonant Passage reminds us that experiencing the flow of existence in resonance with a shared vision can be one of the great joys of the journey. Ancestors: It is from our memory and through our actions that we can hold those we love, carrying them with us, feeling the energetic echo of their presence created in the wake of their departure. We honor them by keeping their memory alive, and living a life of integrity to pass on to future generations. Breaking Point: This sculpture is a symbol of evolving through struggle. The luminous spears embody facing fear head on, as a quest to find the light in our darkness. Seed of Self: This carved mandala serves as an enveloping energetic field for meditation, and recollection of your life lived up to this point. Reflecting in its center, is an orb containing both the witness and creator of this present moment: You.