Saturday, September 5, 2015

Jaume Plensa Sculptures, Cheekwood

It was a nice day to spend an afternoon at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. While the temperatures were in the mid 90's, it wasn't particularly humid. This was the second outing for our Meetup Group. I chose Cheekwood because of its diverse landscape as well as the variety of trees, plants and flowers.

An internationally acclaimed Spanish artist, Jaume Plensa, has constructed several large scale sculptures at Cheekwood titled the 'Human Landscape'. My favorite was the large stone sculpture called 'Laura With A Bun' which sits at the entrance of the botanical gardens. This 23 foot tall cast-iron sculpture was based on an individual portrait. Jaume Plensa is known for his ability to use a specific individual to express universal traits in a grand scale.

The second sculpture is 'Awilda and Irma' and also continues Jaume Plensa's use of a portrait as a starting point for the creation of a piece of work. This sculpture is a more open work using stainless steel mesh allowing the light and the surrounding landscape to be a part of the work. Plensa constructed these sculptures in a pond to accentuate the relationship between land, water, light and air and the work itself. You have to admit that this is definitely not the normal type of sculpture you see outdoors. There are evenings in October when the gardens is open in the evening. I plan to visit one evening to view the sculptures lit up.

This last image is a sculpture called 'The Soul of Words I and II'. It is comprised of two painted stainless steel figures, shaped by symbols and letters from eight different alphabets, set upon a collection of white river stones. This work invites the viewer to imagine a conversation between the two figures and the human dialogue. There were several other sculptures I didn't make it to as well as several in the museum. Cheekwood is a fantastic place to visit and a perfect place for a photography outing. I met some great people today who were very serious about learning photography. Another outing is scheduled for Fall at Cheekwood. The gardens will be featuring 5,000 mums displayed throughout the garden landscapes. The Turner Seasons Garden will also feature Scarecrows created by different community groups situated along the pathway. I am really looking forward to photographing the mum display. I hope wherever you are on this holiday weekend the weather is a tad cooler than here in Tennessee. I am anxious for Fall weather to cool things down here. I'll be back soon. ENJOY!


  1. These sculptures are magnificent! It would be wonderful to view them lit in the evening. It sounds like you're making new photographer friends. It's cool here in the mountains - jacket weather.

  2. For you, let there be cool!!! Down here, I hope for a little warmth in the far south. Stunning sculptures, every one a winner.