Boston-born artist Janet Echelman returned to her roots for her latest work, a massive connection of nets floating above the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. As if it Were Already Here, which stretches over 600 feet long and uses 100 miles of rope, moves like a jellyfish above the park. Vibrantly colored in burnt orange, bright green, and blood red, it is a piece of public art made for the age of Instagram.
Echelman’s career had a rough start, the artist admits. In a Ted Talk entitled Taking Imagination Seriously, she revealed to the crowd that none of the seven art schools she applied to admitted her. Without a degree, she took up painting on her own, ultimately landing fellowship in India, where she discovered her love for the fluid motions of fish nets.
She made her first sculptures in India alongside the fishermen whose netting inspired her. Her second sculpture used a million and a half hand-tied knots, and was installed briefly in Madrid before moving to its permanent home on the waterfront of Porto, Portugal. Ever since, she has been installing massive, building sized, floating sculptures in major destinations including Amsterdam, Sydney, San Francisco, Singapore, and Vancouver, among others.
Echelman explains that her artwork contradicts our fundamental understanding of what cities are. “The cities that we have built are made of straight lines and hard rugged materials,” she states. “And my work is the opposite of that. It becomes soft, it’s changing its shape with every gust of wind.”
Her Boston sculpture, Echelman’s tallest artwork yet, is a must see on the Greenway, which has added a series of new public art venues to the city since its formation after the Big Dig left a swathe of land available for parks in the heart of downtown Boston. As if it Were Already Here will be on view until October, 2015.
For more information, visit the Greenway’s website here.
image via flickr