Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 16:45
Two captivating works of art are wowing visitors at the Eden Project, marking the unveiling of its new arts programme.
Sculptural pieces by Jenny Kendler and Ryan Gander have been installed in the grounds, alongside works from Julian Opie and Tim Shaw which arrived earlier this year.
Complementing this, the exhibition Artificial Creators: Inspired by Nature is now open and will run until September 29.
Jenny Kendler’s newly adapted work, first commissioned for Storm King Art Center, New York State, is a 40-foot long sculpture composed of a “flock” of one hundred reflective birds’ eyes mounted on aluminium.
The piece has been developed through a partnership with the Natural Resource Defence Council and asks viewers to consider their own responsibility for climate change’s myriad effects on other beings.
To employ the mistress…It’s a French toff thing by Ryan Gander is a marble fountain fabricated in the likeness of his wife, Rebecca, playfully spitting water. It is positioned within the blue border against the backdrop of the Eden Biomes.
The work plays with the tradition of fountains in classical gardens where mythological divinities, imaginary animals and other strange creatures are turned into whimsical springs. This sculpture was originally commissioned by The Highline, New York.
Misha Curson, Eden’s Senior Arts Curator, said: "We're delighted to be unveiling these major new works for the Eden Project as we launch the most ambitious arts programme in our history.
"Jenny Kendler's work is a sobering reflection on climate change and the fragility of the environment, provoking thought with our visitors as they arrive at Eden.
“Ryan Gander's playful drinking fountain connects the everyday overlooked - fresh water - with the esoteric. It offers a beautiful, engaging alternative to plastic water bottles."
Julian Opie’s piece, entitled Crowd 4, is a monolith sculpture with an animation played on a double-sided LED screen. The film features a number of people crossing the screen, creating a monument of a crowd or flock.
Tim Shaw’s The Drummer statue is inspired by the steely resilience of Cornwall’s people - those who mined tin for generations and the fishermen who battle against the sea. The work is cast in bronze, an alloy composed of copper and tin – an homage to Cornwall’s heritage.
Hayden Dunham, currently artist in residence at Eden, has conducted research at the Project relating to her central preoccupation with how the chemical make-up of external systems informs and influence our internal infrastructure.
Her research culminated in a performance realised at the Zabludowicz Collection in Belsize Park, London, and an ongoing performance at Eden. At the Mouth of the Sky uses sound to generate vibrations throughout the Rainforest Lookout.
The soundscape echoes the air circulation in the Biome and the exchange of breath between the plants and their visitors.
All the artists have been inspired either by the Eden Project’s surroundings or by the narratives that the Eden communicates including sustainability, climate change, biodiversity and the vital relationship between plants, people and resources.
The exhibition Artificial Creators: Inspired by Nature  explores the relationship between AI and creativity, the exhibition brings together the creations of five artists inspired by nature, modified and co-produced with AI.
Since it opened in 2001, the Eden Project has provided a gateway into the relationship between plants and people giving a fascinating insight into the story of humankind’s dependence on the natural world.