May 15 - Oct. 31: Seeing is believing when it comes to a duo of art exhibitions coming to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. SUPERnatural: Aerial Art in Motion by Poetic Kinetics, Glass Art in Bloom by Jason Gamrath.
SUPERnatural: Aerial Art in Motion, Glass Art in Bloom features a custom-created “skynet” billowing in the air above Storza Woods like a flock of multi-colored birds, while over-scale glass floral sculptures blossom throughout the more formal gardens. The skynet, called “Dream Flora”, on display through Sept. 19, is an experiential aerial sculpture by Patrick Shearn of Los Angeles-based Poetic Kinetics, known for its large-scale works of public art; the contemporary glass art is the creation of Seattle artist Jason Gamrath, presented through Oct. 31.
Guests may enjoy both exhibitions during daytime hours and in the evening during Cocktails in the Garden.
Cocktails in the Garden
Experience SUPERnatural in the cool of the evening as the exhibition comes alive with light. Tuesday – Sunday, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. (last admission at 8), enjoy craft cocktails, a variety of wine and beer – including the Garden’s own brew – and live music.
Above and beyond Storza Woods, Dream Flora, a new “skynet” by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics, marks the international artist’s first exhibition in a botanical garden. The 12,586-square-foot installation ranges in width from five to 25 feet, soaring 20-90 feet above guests as they take in its beauty from the Anne Cox Chambers Southern Seasons Garden, Kendeda Canopy Walk and Cascades Garden.
Shearn designs his signature skynets to evoke the natural phenomenon of flocking, reminiscent of birds or fish.
Apart from cutting the colorful, ultra lightweight streamers – 79,033 to be exact – Dream Flora was made entirely by hand. This site-specific work required 13,813 linear feet of transparent Dyneema Rope, hand-tied in 879 technical knots.
Dream Flora is Shearn’s first skynet for a wooded area, which presented its own share of logistical challenges.
First, the Poetic Kinetics team 3D-modeled the organic environment of Storza Woods, including wind patterns that are more susceptible to interference in a woodland. Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic prevented travel in 2020, Shearn had a local crew create a 360-degree video along the skynet’s anticipated path so his team could identify anchor points on specific trees. Finally, installing Dream Flora with minimal impact on the pristine nature of the setting required a team of arborists that Shearn trained in the specific rigging needs for the installation.
Shearn has created public art around the world, including installations for Burning Man, the Coachella Music Festival, the City of El Paso, Texas and Germany’s 30th anniversary commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In his most expansive exhibition to date, Jason Gamrath presents dozens of large-scale contemporary glass sculptures reflecting the beauty of nature. The 13 installations of about 150 pieces of brilliantly colorful sculptures represent blooming plants, including orchids, pitcher plants, aloes, lotuses and more – all created by hand with no molds. Gamrath created about 30 of pieces exclusively for this exhibition.
The master glass artist, who has exhibited his work internationally, is known for his colorful take on nature. “The purpose of creating this series on a macro scale is to bring to light the beauty that exists within the micro scale of nature,” said Gamrath, whose career has been inspired by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly, who presented exhibitions at the Garden in 2004 and 2016. “When I scale life forms up to be larger than a person, they can be observed with this perspective from across a room due to the overwhelming physical presence they command.”