John Grade and his forest rain
05/23/2019, 1:49 PM
For example, a Seattle-based artist John Grade has created a unique installation in a forest. It looks like a large chandelier hanging among the trees, but it is not a chandelier at all, but containers for collecting water. It’s called Reservoir. Five thousand small vessels are combined into two networks, and are designed to collect rainfall. They are attached to the upper branches of trees. For the viewer, each of these vessels looks like a large drop. And all together it resembles frozen rain.
Without contents, the weight of the installation is 32 kg. And when the object is filled with water, its weight increases by about ten times, but powerful springs keep it at a height of at least three meters above the ground. Then the water evaporates, and the structure acquires its former dimensions.
The art object is located in the Arte Sella Sculpture Park in Borgo Valsugana, not far from the Italian city of Trento in the north of the country. The artist in this way tried to show the audience the importance of precipitation for nature - snow and rain. And in order to be closer to nature and emphasize the importance of its protection, the creator of the installation promises to improve his work to make a more modern chandelier from rapidly decomposing plastic.
The author of the installation and members of his studio team create art objects in different countries, but everywhere they try to emphasize the connection between man and nature.
A few years ago, Grade and associates made a copy of a giant pine growing in Washington state. Its age is about one and a half centuries. First, they took plaster casts of a twenty-seven-meter-high coniferous tree, transferred them to the workshop, and spent a year assembling a life-size sculpture of a pine tree from small wooden blocks. After that, the art object created in collaboration with nature was polished and exhibited in the Seattle gallery, giving viewers the opportunity to admire the grandeur of the nature of their native state.
The artist sells his works in art galleries, museums order works from him, and he also receives grants from various art institutions. The main part of the artist’s income is commissions from museums and lectures, and to a lesser extent – income from cooperation with galleries. He considers everything related to the environment and its protection to be relevant, and with his work he tries to draw attention to this topic. Grade is inspired by the transience of natural phenomena, and many of the art objects he created are also fleeting, they have already disappeared under the influence of the forces of nature, and continue to exist only in photographs and videos. Their destruction by nature is also part of the artist’s art concept. Very environmentally friendly and up to date. Art that not only interacts with nature, but does not leave any traces in it as a result.