Unique ‘rain chandelier’ artwork in Italian forest

Posted by Aimee Pace on 14 May 2019

Inspired by changing geological and biological forms and systems in the natural world, artist John Grade builds large-scale installations that mimic the functions of nature.

One of his most recent works, titled Reservoir, has made waves due to its unusual setting and structure which likens it to a grand chandelier hanging in a peaceful Italian forest.

The Reservoir is inspired by the patterns of the forest rainfall with its huge net branching from tree to tree.

This cascading piece is featured in the Arte Sella Sculpture Park in Borgo Valsugana, Italy.

Altogether the installation is made up of 5 000 heat formed clear plastic compartments that all collect rainwater as it falls. Each of these droplet-like cups is formed from the casts of human hands cupped together and framed with steam-bent strips of Alaskan yellow cedar.

“We cast ten different people’s hands for variations in scale,” Grade explained to ThisisColossal.com.

These creations are then attached to a pair of marine nets and fishing line which are supported by stainless steel rings that each surround a tree trunk.

As the rain falls it changes the positioning of the net as the droplets swell or lower. At its heaviest, Reservoir can exceed a staggering 800 pounds; but as the water evaporates, the sculpture slowly releases into its lightest, 70-pound state.

“The sculpture rises and falls with precipitation differently each time it rains or snows,” says Grade.

Man-made movement also affects the sculpture’s appearance. Grade collaborated with Italian dance artist Andrea Rampazzo to choreograph an interactive performance. During the exhibition, four dancers moved around the sculpture, pulling and releasing each tree line to create varied movements in the artwork.

“I became most interested in the way rain falls through this grove of trees, the canopy delaying the droplet’s journey to the ground as well as how quiet and sheltered the forest was during a heavy rain,” Grade reveals. “I wanted to make a sculpture that responded to the rain directly as well as a sculpture that responded to people.”

There is no doubt it truly is a work of art that not only responds to nature and people, but also inspires a response from the viewer as well.

See more of John’s amazing art here.

Pictures: John Grade

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