Walk Beneath Towering Natural Sculptures At Morton Arboretum’s ‘Human+Nature’ Exhibition

The colossal leafy sculptures will reside at the Morton Arboretum for at least one year.

Elliot McGowan Elliot McGowan

Walk Beneath Towering Natural Sculptures At Morton Arboretum’s ‘Human+Nature’ Exhibition

The Arboretum’s new exhibition highlights the deep roots between humans and trees.

After pandemic-related shipping delays postponed its opening, the Morton Arboretum finally unveiled an exciting new arbor-inspired exhibition entitled Human + Nature in May of 2021. Featuring five massive natural sculptures by renowned South African artist crafted especially for Arboretum visitors, Daniel Popper, it is the largest exhibition of Popper’s work to date.

When it comes to exhibitions at the 1,700-acre tree museum and research center, they take no small measures. Whether it’s harboring giant trolls, or opening a one-acre maze garden with 12-foot hedges, the Arboretum goes all out on their exhibits to augment their natural conservationist message.

A walk beneath the gigantic Mother Nature figure that now welcomes Arboretum visitors and you’ll see that’s no exaggeration.

The Arboretum has again emphasized its message in extraordinary fashion with a larger-than-life Human + Nature exhibit featuring 20-25-foot art installations from the internationally-renowned artist.

“Built to create a sense of awe and wonder, five massive sculptures will be featured with the backdrop of the Arboretum’s magnificent and mature tree collections,” the Arboretum wrote on their website. “Each grand in size and appearance (20-25 feet tall), the sculptures are crafted especially for Arboretum visitors.”

Daniel Popper is a globally-known multi-disciplinary artist whose oeuvre consists of spectacular mega-installations that have featured prominently at hit music festivals such as Electric Forest, Burning Man, Boom Festival in Portugal, and Afrikaburn in the Tankwa Karoo in South Africa.

Human + Nature features similar pieces: “The installations will include a towering interpretation of a Mother Nature figure welcoming Arboretum visitors to interact by walking inside the sculpture, large-scale human hands, diverse human facial traits interwoven with root structures, and a symbolic opening of the human heart.”

In addition to using living plants in his installations, Popper also incorporates electronic music, projection mapping, and intricate LED lighting — the latter featured in his Nelson Mandela Tree of Wisdom sculpture that can be found at the Nelson Mandela School of Science and Technology in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

With the Morton Arboretum this year celebrating its 100th anniversary, an extension of the Human+Nature exhibition was one of the first announcements for its yearlong centennial celebrations. The exhibition will now stay open through March 2023, and in May of this year will reveal two new large-scale sculptures and a commemorative centennial sculpture all by artist Daniel Popper.

Tickets need to be reserved in advance to help keep track of timed-entry passes and moderate attendance numbers but the Human+Nature exhibit does not cost anything more than the general Arboretum admission fee. Head to the Morton Arboretum website to learn more and book a timed entry.

[Featured image via the Morton Arboretum]

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