Free admission (all visitors, all hours)
Meg Webster’s work is grounded in an unwavering interest in natural cycles and how a nuanced combination of form, material and site can come together to create diversely charged ecological systems. Since the 1980s, Webster’s visual language of rational geometric forms, from spirals to cones and circles—conveyed through natural matter such as water, soil, moss, salt and twigs—has situated her in close conversation with both Minimalism and Land Art. While her visual language is rooted in these art-historical movements, conceptually, her work resolutely engages with contemporary conversations around nature, ecology, sustainability and technology.
Webster’s site-specific installation, “Wave,” at The Arts Center at Governors Island is comprised of both new and existing work from across Webster’s career, including: the commission of Moss Mound, a new work in the tradition of her iconic mound, cone or bed sculptures; a Growing Piece that will be assembled on site and serve as a living nursery for a pollinating garden grown in partnership with the GrowNYC Teaching Garden on Governors Island; Largest Blown Sphere, a group of five blown glass pieces; a video work entitled “Waterfall (Houston Brook Falls);” and “Nearest Virgin Forest,” a re-created sound piece consisting of field recordings sourced from the Hutcheson Memorial Forest, one of the last uncut forests in the Mid-Atlantic.
Sited in LMCC’s Arts Center’s Upper Gallery, overlooking the New York Harbor on one side and the Island on the other, the installation makes porous the boundaries between interior architecture, exterior environment, space, place, light and audience. The works’ collective placement, which layers the trace of ancient growth onto real-time germination, subtly bends the arc of our understanding of natural time, reorienting the viewer towards a more expansive understanding of their relationship to the environment both in terms of what has been engineered within the gallery and what occurs naturally beyond it. Through the mediated placement of these elements of nature, Webster constructs an artificial microcosm that raises questions and connections related to cycles of growth and decay, nature and technology, care and maintenance.
The pollinating plants, nurtured from seeds in “Growing Piece” at The Arts Center at Governors Island, will be transplanted throughout the season into beds at GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden’s Flower Garden to create the functional work Pollinating Garden. A literal outgrowth from the gallery, the work will allow the plants to intentionally complete their full natural life cycle attracting bees, butterflies, insects and other pollinators to ensure the spread of their seed and future offspring, integrating with and aiding to the holistic natural ecosystem of the Island.
“Pollinating Garden” is open for public viewing and exploration on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4PM throughout the exhibition.
About Meg Webster
Born in San Francisco in 1944, Meg Webster received an MFA from Yale University in 1983. Her work finds inspiration in the intrinsic beauty of natural materials. Using metal, glass and organic elements like salt, soil, twigs and moss, the artist creates large-scale installations and precise structures rooted in the traditions of Land Art of the 1970s. Webster draws on the rigorous formal vocabulary of minimalism to create simple, geometric forms that directly and perceptually engage the body and its senses.