Client: Ars Natura Uta
Location: Achocallo, Bolivia
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $50,000
The Odyssey is a design for a meditative labyrinth based on a fingerprint to serve as metaphor of our unique journeys through life. The Bolivian Odyssey is the first iteration, the collaboration of Dave Caudill and Teresa Camacho-Hull. It’s 102’W by 134’L, built at the art center Ars Natura Uta, near La Paz. Many stones are river washed from streams descending from nearby Andes mountains. Spaces are planted with grass. At the center is a large eucalyptus root in a reflecting pool suggesting consideration of humanity’s roots. The colorful version is a terrazzo proposal for an urban environment.
Ars Natura Uta, though near La Paz, is an art center in a rural area. It’s owned by Teresa Camacho-Hull and features her work as well as those by other artists. The Bolivian Odyssey is the largest of the artworks and reflects her dedication to the land of her birth and its people.
I developed the concept and was offered a residency at the center in return for contributing the design. Teresa and I considered various materials with the ideal of a sustainable installation harmonious with the surrounding countryside. The large root and pool at the center and the landscaped edging were Teresa’s additions to the concept. I worked with the staff of the center to layout the design on the site they had prepared. Then they made the installation permanent by anchoring stones in cement, planting grass and completing the landscaping.
The budget listed is an approximation of value determined by Bolivian materials cost and the labor by 3 men to build it. If we had built it in America, the cost would have been at least 100% higher. Anna Tatman is the CEO of the fifth generation mosaic and terrazzo business of an Italian-American family, and has been instrumental in the development of an urban variation on this concept.