A Celebration of All Things Cultural, Artistic, and Entertaining in Madison
Jul 28, 2010
Go with the Flow
The idea that every living being is connected to one another is compelling. And an installation at Overture Galleries makes a good case for the notion. One can’t walk away from the twisting, complex work of art without thinking about how the existences of animals, plants and humans are intertwined.
Created by Barbara Westfall and Beth Racette, FLOW: The Web of Interconnections is a mixed-media installation that stretches through the gallery leading to the ground-floor entrance to Overture Center’s Capitol Theater.
According to the artists, the installation is a collaborative exploration of the interconnectedness of all living beings, and it’s dedicated to those that have died or are suffering from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the people working toward a resolution to the disaster.
Made primarily of grapevine—which was sustainably harvested in western Dane County—with additional natural and human-made materials, the sculpture extends, twists, swirls and overlaps over the two long walls of the gallery.
In one section, the vine flows rhythmically and organically across the wall, embellished with pieces glass and ceramic that either hang off or are supported by the branches. Farther down the wall, copper piping connects the branches, mechanizing the work of nature.
On the opposite wall, the grapevine swirls dramatically into a floor-to-ceiling nest. In its center are red foliage, a light source and delicate, fuzzy feathers. The dynamism of the form draws viewers into the center and there they are rewarded with the opportunity to examine the details.
Also on this wall, a portion of the grapevine becomes a bountiful garden, with flowers, plants and vegetables sprouting from it. Vines also extend down, seemingly plunging deep into the earth.
The grapevine not only unifies different elements of the installation; it also serves as a successful and beautiful metaphor for the force of life that flows through all beings. It’s fascinating to watch where this form leads, and enjoyable to come along for the ride.
FLOW is on display at Overture Galleries through September 19. For more information, visit overturecenter.com/community/overture-galleries.