The Umbel Series Installation was a temporary installation included in the Environmental Installations exhibit at the UCSC Arboretum in Santa Cruz CA. The saffron colored trail is inspired by the folklore of mustard seeds being planted along the historic Camino Real in Mexico and California which would bloom into a bright yellow path of mustard flowers helping pilgrims find their way from mission to mission. The abstract flower forms are inspired by umbel shaped flower structures, a flower whose shape resembles an umbrella. I loved the idea of being able to track your path through the wilds of the world by following a color. While wild mustard flowers in reality are not the umbel shaped forms I’ve been researching, I loved this story so much I thought I could combine these concepts together to create an impactful installation. The installation is about 100′ x 2′ x 3′ and is made up of 230 individual abstract umbel flowers, each flower is hand-built and unique.
photo credit: Nina Hipkins