World’s Largest Walk Thru Handbag

Submitted by Ries Niemi

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Project

Client: Bellevue Art Museum

Location: Bow, United States

Completion date: 15/05/2007

Artwork budget: $40,000

Project Team

Artist

Ries Niemi

Client

Michael Monroe

Bellevue Art Museum director emeritus

Overview

A structure, a metaphor, a sculpture, a comment on the neverending escalation of sizes of lady's handbags. Big enough to be a walk-in closet, at 5' wide and 10' long.

Goals

Originally designed for the plaza in front of the Bellevue Art Museum, in the midst of a large shopping district. Displayed there for 1 1/2 years, then later in the courtyard of the Lightcatcher at the Whatcom Museum. It raises issues of consumerism, materialism, storage, and modern life.

Process

Michael Monroe approached me with the idea of displaying an existing work, but we instead came up with this- part drive thru tree, part consumer fetish object, part sculpture, for the Bellevue Art Museum.