Bienvenue, mes amours. I’m coming to you from my *drumroll* NEW YORK APARTMENT! I can’t believe I finally moved in. After tearful goodbyes moving back to school each summer in college, I finally don’t have to say goodbye for a long time and get to call it my permanent home. This week is full of furniture shopping, traveling back and forth between Jersey and the city to move more things in, and preparing for my first week of work. Wish me luck! But for now, let’s check out Grounds For Sculpture…
You may have noticed from watching my intro video or reading my posts that I have a fiery love for all things art. Whether it’s a painting, a sculpture, a video installation, fashion made from non-textile materials, theatre, dance, music, or even architecture, I love it all. To me, art is an intimate language much like emotion that not everyone can always speak, including me. We all know how to express ourselves verbally for the most part, but have also all struggled at some point to describe a feeling we felt inside. That non-verbal language is emotion and in a way related to art. When I see a show or visit a museum, the way the performance or masterpiece makes me feel is not always the way some others feel. For example, my mom judges a show based on how engaged she was the entire time and how well the performers executed every line, song, or dance move. For me, I judge a show on how it spoke to me. Did I relate to the characters? If not, could I reach a point of empathy where my heart ached or celebrated for the character? Did it spark a fire inside me and inspire me in some way? Did it change my outlook on something, or perhaps my perspective on how to handle life?
That is what I call the language or art.
The greatest thing about this language is that you don’t have to speak the exact dialect that the artist speaks. An artist of an abstract painting may create a piece of art with one vision in mind while a someone who visits her gallery sees a whole different message. Neither of them are wrong. Both of them make sense. Both can be highly appreciated and understood.
Mid-July, my mom and I visited Grounds For Sculpture in New Jersey. You saw a bit of it in my July Vlog. It’s a park filled with different sculptures from abstract to remakes of famous paintings. Check them out!
These different metal pieces turn into a musical instrument when you take the sticks provided and bang around on them! The different thicknesses and sizes help create different pitches, enabling you to make some (loud) rhythmic music for the other visitors to enjoy (and mildly resent you for).
There are also some sculptures that play with different materials. The one in the picture below was built out of wire and fired glass pieces. Its brother and sister sculptures were a little less pretty, but displayed different shapes and colors.
While these were beautiful, some of the best sculptures are the ones of people from different famous paintings! The facial expressions and body language were done perfectly, making visitors almost confused as to whether they were sculptures or other visitors upon first glance.
One of my favorite human sculptures was this couple talking in an entrance to a meadow. I think that the artist did a fantastic job portraying a common intense moment between two lovers. Their facial expressions and body languages captures that frozen moment of uncertainty when the man is trying to convince the woman when all she wants to do is be done with the lies and nonsense. For me, this was a very relatable image as I’m sure many of you have sadly been in these types of difficult moments as well.
There were also a lot of interesting things in GFS…like nudity and butts. Lots of butts. I’m sure you’ve already scrolled through the nudes at this point (and I didn’t even capture all of the nude sculptures) and there are a few more ahead. But I think the best butt award had to go to this sculpture:
Behind that ass, is a little forest called the Forest of the Subconscious which features this sculpture called Heart’s Desire. It shows a bunch of plastic dolls and items in cubes inside a large clear plastic cube. There are many ways to interpret this. For example, you can interpret that the fact the boxes are clear show that a heart’s desire can be apparent but constricted by some sort of boundary that you can’t seem to break out of. You can also interpret each doll in the cubes as a representation of someone in this artist’s mind or life.
Outside the Forest of the Subconscious was a woman using chalk pastels to create a version of this sculpture which was a house for “Internal Dialogue.” Watching her focus on the side of the house and recreate that in an abstract style painting on her pad was interesting. It really proves that art is a fluid language with no definite definitions and versions.
From here, we walked to Rat’s Restaurant and the Monet Bridge painting. Rat’s is a restaurant in the GFS grounds that is famous for its beautiful setting and food. We weren’t at GFS during a meal time, so I didn’t get to enjoy the meal, but I’ve heard great reviews on it. Definitely check it out!
Outside Rat’s is a beautiful trail of garden paths leading to a tall skinny tree path (I don’t know what else to call it). This lead to two sculptures (one phallic, one nude) and the gallery building which you see in my July vlog! Past it is a courtyard of sculptures with water features.
In between the main grounds and the road to the Meadows is an art garden! This was one of my favorite areas of the entire grounds because I love the layout and architecture. For me, it was the perfect mix of modern and natural.
Now onto the last section, the Meadows. The Meadows contain a few famous sculptures by Seward Johnson. Do you recognize a few of these sculptures? The first one is Daydream (and as I promised, more butts…).
The next sculpture is by the artist Seward Johnson and named The Awakening. It features a giant coming out of the ground struggling to free himself. I think this spoke to me on different levels as it almost resembles how we feel when we feel stifled or sick of being burdened, to the point that you almost feel like you’re being buried alive. The original sculpture is in Maryland.
Interesting right? I think GFS has great pieces of art that really intrigue its visitors. If you just pick up a map and follow without a guided tour, it allows you to use your imagination to interpret some of the pieces of art where the message the artist is conveying is less obvious. I highly enjoyed my experience and would recommend it to anyone passing through the area. You can purchase tickets for $16 (adults 18+) online. If you go, be sure to leave me a comment on what you think! I’d love to hear some of your interpretations.
Until next time, mes chéries.