LeAnne Martin
Christians in the Arts

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Art in the Garden

My daughter and I went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden yesterday afternoon. Atlanta is waking up to spring right now and new buds are appearing every day so walking in the Garden was a true delight.

On this visit, my favorite flowers were the orchids in the conservatories. In one room, pink and purple orchids cascade down an entire wall. It’s breathtaking. (So much so that I forgot to get the name of them.) Orchid Hall houses dozens of different types of these flowers in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Among the living beauties we found glass ones as well—sculptures by internationally acclaimed artist Hans Godo Fräbel. Many of the sculptures are shaped like the orchids themselves, like playful fairies and nymphs, cavorting clowns, and more. The brightly-colored frogs inside glass cases are often indistinguishable from the real thing—until the real thing moves. You can see a few of the pieces on the garden website at www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org as well as Frabel’s studio site at http://www.frabel.com/.

Outside, we enjoyed the sculptures of French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. Where Frabel’s glass looks fragile and delicate, Niki’s huge sculptures encourage touching, sitting and even climbing. Embellished with stones, mosaics, glass, and mirrors, they catch the eye and capture the imagination. Sitting inside one sculpture, my daughter was queen and I an honored guest in her kingdom. Niki’s 20-foot alligator across the pond was her beloved pet. My favorites were the oversized women—the Nanas—dancing with joy in the pond. Surrounded by beauty and art in such a gorgeous place with my daughter, I felt like dancing with joy too.

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