Design at Fairchild: Sitting Naturally

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From Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden:

Seven Internationally Renowned Artists Re-envision Seating into Extraordinary Works of Art at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Sitting Naturally will showcase a diverse collection of entirely new works by seven internationally renowned artists commissioned by the Cristina Grajales Gallery in New York City. Inspired by Fairchild’s lush, tropical landscape, each artist is creating two sculptures for sitting to be exhibited throughout the gardens.

Fairchild’s diverse collection of exotic palms, cycads, flowering trees, vines, orchids and other foliage will serve as the backdrop for works created by an equally varied group of artists. Using their unique perspectives, artists Gael Appler, Sam Baron, Pedro Barrail, Christophe Côme, Michele Oka Doner, Sebastian Errazuriz and John Paul Philippe have set out to change a quotidian object into an extraordinary work of art.

“These artists will bring excitement to Fairchild, each in his or her own way through the works. In keeping with the Garden’s natural feel and sense of arrival at beauty that one experiences while strolling the majestic landscape, the artists’ works will be thoughtfully placed throughout Fairchild’s 83 acres,” remarked Nannette Zapata, Fairchild’s Chief Operating Officer and Art Curator.

- Gael Appler, a woodworker based in Upstate New York, will present two identical objects entitled Bench, both made of Honduran Mahogany and noted for their clean, geometric lines.

- Sam Baron’s whimsical, playful Romantic Benches, with their white lacquered wood strips and various attachments including hanging plants and a parasol, beckons visitors to sit and recline while taking in the beauty of the Garden.

- Pedro Barrail’s Walking Benches, one made of iron and the other of marble, are influenced by the sounds of the migrating birds he heard while constructing a pavilion on the coast of Paraguay.

- French artist Christophe Côme has created Intertwined, a beautifully decorative bench, as well as Path Bench, designed to represent a barrier that one might find in the woods, blocking access beyond a certain point.

- Miami native Michele Oka Doner’s Invasives represent strong, sculptural works made of Australian Pine and Tropical Almond, both invasive species in Florida. By using these materials, Oka Doner sets out to replicate mass-producible public benches, establishing the urban streetscape as a new “predator” for these species.

- Chilean artist Sebastian Errazuriz introduces two new pieces, Calm Before Time, a beautiful, serene wood seat decorated with an overhanging chandelier, and Marble Bust Bench, a marble and wood bench that rests on identical busts at either side.

- And lastly is Bird Pirch Bench, by John Paul Philippe, a “perch” for people and incorporates into the structure an attachable perch for birds and a feeding station.

“I have always found Fairchild to be a magical place,” said Cristina Grajales of the Cristina Grajales Gallery. “The idea of our artists’ benches interwoven with the beautiful vegetation will be the beginning of a new dialogue between nature and design.”

Design at Fairchild: Sitting Naturally is on view at Fairchild from December 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013.

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