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Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. It's a journal of sorts. It gives me a place to show my work-in-progress for my painting and photography. Comments are welcome --- add one at the end of an entry or email me at BarbBlumer@gmail.com.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Sculpture Garden Inspiration

Future Generations by  William Zorach
As part of my Spring migration, I have been thinking about what inspires me.  And what can get me out of my funk and back to work at painting and printing. 
Hakone Open Air Museum
Sculpture gardens are high on my list of inspiring places. One of the best ones I have ever been to was the Hakone Open Air Museum, in Japan near Mt. Fuji.
Recently, we ran across one when we took a trip in March to New Orleans, when we took the street car to the end of the line to NOMA, which is the New Orleans Museum of Art.
It is adjacent to the museum on 5 acres of mature oak trees, draped with Spanish moss and nice landscaping.  And has 64 sculptures donated mostly by Sydney and Walda Besthoff.
by Robert Indiana
It has a "greatest hits" of sculptures from many popular 20th century artists.  Mostly post -1960.  There is a Henry Moore, Jacques Lipchitz, Louise Bourgeois, Rene Magritte, Rodin, Joel Shapiro, Barbara Hepworth, just to name a few.  And Louisiana-born George Rodrigue.
by Deborah Butterfield
Including Deborah Butterfield's "Restrained" from 1999 which stands near the rear entrance to the park.
by George Segal
But what I really enjoyed was the interaction of the people with the sculpture.  Some sitting on benches integrated with the art.
Or having conversations with kinetic sculptures moving nearby.
by Do Ho Suh
And the finger pointing by people and children when circling the works.  The amazement exclaimed about some of the works, especially this one of an "infinity" of men standing piggy back on each other's shoulders as it reaches towards the sky.
Side 1 of George Rodrigue's "We Stand Together", 2005
And how you get to wind around the path and see them from many views. Experiencing them from many viewpoints.  Large and small.
Side 2  of George Rodrigue
Here are a couple of my favorites:
by Jaume Plensa
This sitting figure is constructed completely of letters of the alphabet.
by Arman
And a water sculpture which upon closer inspection is made up of a tower of metal cello parts.
by Anish Kapoor

But this one was amazing, and hard to capture in a photograph.  It is a highly polished large cube, sitting among the trees.   You don't know until you reach the front of it that it has a deep, time-warping cavity, which reflects back to you, in a kind of Edvard Munch ooooohhhhh-way.   The reflections of the opening vary with the conditions.  It is super cool.

"The feeling of awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests that the things we do to experience these emotions--a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art-- have a direct influence upon health and life expectancy, " Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner, a co-author a recent University of California study published in the journal Emotion magazine in January 2015.  (source:  Huffington Post)

BHB

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