Orchid Daze celebrates the return of spring with an exhibition of jubilant sculptures by artist Kristine Mays in the warm and vibrant tropical landscape of the Fuqua Orchid Center from February 12 to April 10.
The San Francisco-based sculptor creates life-size, three-dimensional figures from thin strands of metal intricately woven together that often evoke a spirit of fluid movement or dance. Much of the inspiration for his work is a series of photos capturing the Alvin Aley Dance Theater Company performing “Revelations”.
“These images reflect joy, jubilation and hope,” Mays said in a recent interview with The New York Times.
The artist has exhibited his work in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Miami as well as at the Filoli Historic House and Garden in Woodside, CA, and more recently at the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington, DC.
Mays creates vignettes of multiple characters, each made up of hundreds of strands of fine gauge steel wire wound together, taking 60 to 100 hours to complete.
His Rich Soil exhibit at the historic Hillwood Estate consisted of groupings of 29 of the ethereal figures emerging from the pastoral landscape. Mays described the exhibit as “a celebration of all the slaves who once worked on the property, and this idea of their return, like their spirits rising from the ground and rejoicing now that they are free.”
“My carvings[…]create a form that reveals an invisible occupant, a soul, a life. I often say that I “breathe life into the thread”. I like the idea of creating a work where the accent reveals the essence of a person and which speaks to humanity as a whole.”
For Orchid Daze, three floral landscapes will complement the artist’s work with orchids that echo the movement and joy found in the sculptures. Characters will rise from carpets of golden Dancing Lady Orchids as delicate Moth Orchids hover in the background and long strands of exuberant Vandas encircle them.
The mission of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is to develop and maintain plant collections for the purposes of exhibition, education, research, conservation, and enjoyment. The garden, located at 1345 Piedmont Ave. BORN. For more information on timed tickets, visit atlantabg.org or call 404-876-5859.