Portal to the Pollinator Pathway, 2012
On view June 27–September 16, 2012
With her Portal to the Pollinator Pathway, Sarah Bergmann pushes process and interactive art in a surprising new direction. Opening at the Olympic Sculpture Park this summer, the artist combines ecology, scientific inquiry, aesthetics, and community engagement to redefine artistic agency. Her garden—containing native plants that attract pollinators, such as bees, birds, and butterflies—provides a glimpse of a much more ambitious project, The Pollinator Pathway, a mile-long corridor of pollinator-friendly gardens that have been established in planting strips on Seattle’s Columbia Street, between 12th and 29th avenues. Conceived five years ago, the corridor connects two larger, existing green spaces, integrating ecological systems into the urban grid. Designed to be collaborative, the artist works with each homeowner along the Pathway, as well as with designers, entomologists, botanists, landscape designers, urban planners, students, and a host of volunteers. Visitors to the Olympic Sculpture Park will have an opportunity to learn about the project and get involved.
Sarah Bergmann will be on site to answer questions about her installation on Saturdays from 11 am–noon. Sarah will move from the Olympic Sculpture Park directly to the Pollinator Pathway on Columbia Street. Visitors are encouraged to go along to Columbia Street and see what the pathway itself looks like.
July 14, Aug 4, Aug 11, Aug 18, Aug 25, Sept 1, Sept 8, Sept 15
Olympic Sculpture Park
Encontro das Águas (Encounter of Waters), 2011
On view until April 14, 2013
Water nourishes and heals, but it also consumes and destroys. Standing in front of Sandra Cinto’s titanic Encontro das Águas (Encounter of Waters), we are reminded of these opposing qualities: water as restorative and destructive, both wondrous and treacherous. Throughout history and across cultures, water has been used in purification rituals of spiritual cleansing and, for Cinto, who has drawn on the imagery of water in her practice for several years, it is an element through which she expresses ideas of sustainment, hope and renewal.
Brazilian born, São Paulo–based, Cinto made two preparatory visits to Seattle before designing this site-specific installation for the Olympic Sculpture Park’s PACCAR Pavilion. Influenced by artists as diverse as Sol LeWitt and Regina Silveira, and the woodblock prints of Japanese artists including Katsushika Hokusai, Cinto’s Encontro das Águas (Encounter of Waters) painstakingly creates an intricate wall drawing of an expansive waterscape. Through modest materials—including blue paint and a silver paint pen—she draws directly on the wall and transforms the drawn line, repeated at different angles and lengths, into an immense and awe-inspiring image of water.
As a complement to this vast seascape, Cinto incorporates a sculpture. A recurring form in the artist’s work is the image of a boat, which she introduces for its poetic associations with that of a journey. Here, Cinto’s wooden boat is the repository for her drawing of an abstracted raft, adhered to the interior floor of the framework. The raft loosely refers to the French painter Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa (1819), a painting that has appeared in different manifestations in Cinto’s earlier works. In referencing this 19th-century history painting, she is interested in the story of the devastating shipwreck of 1816, which Géricault conveyed in his dramatic re-envisioning of the events, conceptually coinciding with what Cinto believes is essential to human experience: survival and endurance in the face of adversity.
Cinto takes the most elemental and makes it profound, revealing her belief in the power of art to transform. We are mesmerized and beguiled by her drawings and, through her imagery, we are reminded that where there is water, there is life.
This exhibition is organized by the Seattle Art Museum. A lead grant is provided by The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.