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Public Art

Public Art Monday: Orly Genger’s Terra

On Mondays, we share our favorite public art works from Houston and around the globe with you. We believe passionately in the transformative power of public art for both the individual and in communities. Check out previous Public Art Monday posts here.

Artist Orly Genger blends large-scale sculpture techniques with an expanded notion of craft and textile to create organic forms and site-specific installations from painted woven rope. With the help of assistants, Genger looms, crochets, weaves, and knots heavy twine over the course of many months to create a single work. In recent projects, she has used recycled lobster rope purchased from fishermen in local communities, a gesture that has both positive economical and social purposes, bringing briny or sea-frozen coils of twine into her studio, cleaning it first, then knotting and painting it. Recent works include an installation of “Current” at The Contemporary Austin’s Laguna Gloria as well as “Boys Cry Too” at Hermann Park (still on view).

Genger’s most recent work, “Terra” is made of 1.4 million feet of recycled lobster-fishing rope painted terra cotta. The rope sculpture playfully weaves its way through Oklahoma City’s Campbell Park, inviting park-goers to explore the sculpture and how it shapes the landscape. Genger notes the openness of the Oklahoma landscape as inspiration for “Terra,” commenting “when visiting Oklahoma I was taken by the vastness of the open landscape and envisioned a line that would travel in a continual motion winding through the patch of land on which the work sits.” The artist said the term “red dirt” inspired her color choice, “which relates both to the clay-like nature of the earth, and to the bricks with which we build walls.” (Source: Oklahoma Contemporary)

“Terra” is a public art exhibition from the Oklahoma Contemporary, now on view through October 2, 2015. For more information, visit Oklahoma Contemporary. To view more of Genger’s work, visit her online.

Image: Terra by Orly Genger, Oklahoma Contemporary