Arts Society & Culture

Georgia Museum of Art installs Patricia Leighton exhibition in sculpture garden

GMOA Terra Verte plant sculpture-h
Terra Verte consists of six "growing cubes

Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Museum of Art’s Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden at the University of Georgia is displaying the exhibition “Terra Verte,” consisting of works by Scottish artist Patricia Leighton, through the end of May 2015.

“Terra Verte” consists of six “growing cubes,” elevated frameworks of steel filled with living vegetation, situated throughout the three tiers of the outdoor space. Inspired by the interaction of art and site, Leighton works in tandem with a diverse creative team of ecologists, engineers, architects and landscape architects to produce large-scale commissions that relate to the history of a given site and relevant natural conditions.

“Patricia Leighton’s work is a captivating combination of architectural, geometric structures and organic, supple forms,” said Annelies Mondi, deputy director of the museum and curator of the exhibition. “The contrast of the bright stainless steel cubes and the delicate sedum plant material make Leighton’s sculptures famously bold and gentle, fixed and variable. Over the course of the year each work will transform subtly as the plants grow, bloom and change color with the seasons.”

This fusion of environment and public art is at the heart of all of Leighton’s designs. The initial vision comes from a site’s form, energy and usage and merges with cultural interpretations of the land to produce an exhibition that demonstrates art’s transformative power.

Previous exhibitions of Leighton’s work in Scotland, England, South Korea, Bulgaria and New York City have highlighted the stillness and mysteries of the organic world. Many of these past projects relate to the impact of transportation on the environment and have focused on human interaction and observation with the physical environment.

“Not only did Leighton pay close attention to the details of the individual sculptures, but she spent considerable time studying the layout of our sculpture garden,” Mondi said. “She thoughtfully placed every work so that the visitor is invited to walk through the various levels of the courtyard and find something unique about each interior space.”

“Stone Levity,” a sculpture by Leighton’s husband, Del Geist, is installed in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex quad, in front of the Performing Arts Center, for the same period of time.

Leighton will return in the fall to give a talk on her work. The Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden is devoted to works of art by women sculptors. The garden recently underwent a period of renovations.

Museum Information
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton St., University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-6719. For more information, including hours, see or call 706-542-4662.