“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” ― Rachel Carson
In my life I am constantly seeking out art and beauty in a longing to absorb them into my mind and spirit and reinterpret that energy into my own artistic projections into the world. I have a need to find and feel immersive experiences that reignite my childlike senses of wonder that is so easy to lose in the day to day grind of life. This is my own recipe for keeping me on the path of positivity and constant creation. After seeing last year’s first Wonderspaces installation here in San Diego I was filled with this type of inspiration and I instantly wanted more. I was so jazzed to hear a few months back that Wonderspaces would return with their second show entitled With Creative License in June. I was pleased to be invited to the preview night of this gorgeous installation. As good as last year’s show was, this was definitely next level. Each of the show’s 15 installations was transformative in its own way and I loved each one, but I wanted to call out and do a quick review of a few of my favorites with some photo we took.
Submergence by Squid Soup
Text from Wonder Spaces Site: “Submergence is a large, immersive, walkthrough experience. It uses up to 8,064 individual points of suspended light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space. The installation transforms space into a hybrid environment where virtual and physical worlds coincide. As you enter the piece, you are walking into a space occupied by both real and virtual components, and you can affect both”
I would have a hard time believing anyone who would say this wasn’t their instant favorite. Maybe I just have a personal affinity for feeling like I’ve been taken into a completely new dimension. Moving about this sea of light and color I was immediately filled with awe and delight. I’ve never been in a space that felt so technological and yet so organically alive at the same time. I loved that you could really be part of it, touch it and come face to face with the piece. Its not something you are always allowed to do when experiencing art and it made me feel differently about it. This was the only installation that I had a hard time completely taking in the first time and went back to experience a second time.
HOSHI by Nonotak Studio
This is the only repeating artist from last year’s show and the 2017 pace was one of my favorites so I was really excited to see this installation. There were many pieces that used light as medium, but there is more aggressive about this one.As you enter the long hallway of pulsating light bars, sound and mirrors…it felt a lot like being in the highly curated mood of the final scene of a psychological thriller. There isn’t much info about this piece on the Wonderspaces site or the artist’s site. Maybe it is supposed to speak for itself…which it certainly does.
Black Balloons by Tadao Cern
Text from Wonder Spaces Site: “For an extensive amount of time, I had an idea to connect two balloons. I found a free minute between the other currently run projects, bought two balloons, and got overwhelmed by the result. It was so unpretentious and so magical at the same time! That opposition created by two very simple and playful objects once again brought a unique childlike sense of discovery.”
This piece caught my attention the most when I saw the marketing promo imagery for Wonderspaces. Something about balloons has a very deep emotional connection in my psyche…perhaps something from childhood. In the color black and in a strict geometric pattern they take on a new meaning and a strange feeling very different from the colorful free flowing nature of balloons. There is palpable tension between the two planes. Physically connected by their strings but in two different realities.
Into the Breath by Stefano Ogliari Badessi
Text from Wonder Spaces Site: “Made of plastic bags, Into the Breath is a Dragon Balloon. Stefano Ogliari Badessi is a nomadic installation artist. He has adapted his creations to be mobile and transportable, giving him the freedom to pack up and take his art to any remote corner of the globe. Each of his installations is first imagined as a fantasy to touch some alternate sphere of reality and then realized using unique sensory combinations and performance collaborations.”
This was a space that was the most calming of all the installations. Although very large, the space has a very unique lightness about it. It’s one the only times I’ve been excited to remove my shoes in a public place. Stepping inside was like going into a dream. Contemplative, warm, meditative and soft. It was like existing inside of the lungs of a very large mystical creature. Being outside of it was almost as amazing. Hard to believe this heavenly golden atmosphere is created by recycled plastic bags.
In a world where pop-up museums an experiences are now commonplace, Wonderspaces is still special. It feels more pure and doesn’t rely on theme or kitsch. I really want to go back and immerse myself again. I hope you will try and go see this show as it will reignite your sense of wonder.