Sneak Peek: Umbel Series (almost) Installed!

This one has been a long time in the works and you’ve seen the process evolve from sketches to prototypes to unloading the final pieces from the glaze kiln. Now it’s time to get these Umbels planted into the garden at the Arboretum.

I took up a batch of 90 stems and flowers (less than half of the total to be installed) to start arranging them. This is the exciting part about doing an installation, you really don’t know if or exactly how it’s going to all come together until it has to.

I played with hammering the stems into the soil in a variety of placements to see how they looked and I wasn’t really happy with any of the compositions, so I sat down in the grass to think about it. And as I sat, I was looking at the trail I had created by walking through the grasses unloading the work, which led from one established path in the arboretum to the other and I realized the formation I wanted these pieces to follow. They are lined up in rows that stretch over 40′ and I think the stripe of mustard yellow through the meadow will make a big impact on the garden space. I love how adding a geometric structure to their arrangement helps balance out the organic forms of the individual pieces. Today, I’ll be bringing the rest of the Umbels up to the arboretum to install, hope you can come see this piece in person!

Sneak Peek: Umbel Series (almost) Installed! | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Join me for the opening of this fantastic exhibition at the UCSC Arboretum, May 20th from 3- 6. The exhibit will be up until November 27th. Pieces from this series will be made available in the online shop and then there will be a ‘picking day’ where you can pick your umbel flowers and transplant them into your own gardens.

Environmental Installations | Art in the Arboretum | curated by Susana Arias

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