How many of you travel for work? Too often it can be a mundane and tiresome part of our jobs. Regardless of the destination, you seem to find yourself shuttling from airport to meetings and then directly back to the airport. Sometimes, we are lucky and find we have a few hours to spare, to explore a bit of the host city.

On my last business trip I found myself in Atlanta with a few hours to spare. My colleague and I decided to walk to the nearby High Museum to experience the culture and design that can be found here.

El Anatsui, “Taago”, 2006

One stunning piece of art was by El Anatsui, an African contemporary artist who has created a series of “metal cloth” sculptures. He joins bits of aluminum from the necks and tops of discarded local liquor bottles to form a glittering textile that recalls the 1,000 year-old tradition of strip-woven cloth made by men in West Africa. It stood out immediately, due to its vibrant color, texture and reflectivity. The ‘folds’ give the appearance of a light fabric that reflect a great deal of light off the metal strips. This playful piece represents a unique interpretation of art through the ‘upcycling’ of material, and I found the resulting combination of colors and pattern to be exquisite.

Anish Kapoor, “Untitled” 2010

Anish Kapoor, “Untitled” 2010

Another inspiring work was by British artist, Anish Kapoor.  It is fun and engaging, a piece in which the combination of art and science result in a layered multi-sensory experience for the audience. The concave dish is made of highly polished stainless steel and creates an infinite variety of fractured reflections. The surface’s triangular patterning is a result of the artist’s interest in fractals, wherein multiples are equivalent to the whole. The sculpture is highly popular, and there was a line to take your picture in front of it. The acoustics vary depending on the user’s position in relation to the art piece, adding another interesting element.

Reflection of light, color, recycling of materials, pattern and playfulness are what I found in Atlanta. Where will your next inspiration come from?

Kelly Capp, Assoc. IIDA
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