Above: The piece sprawls across the entirety of the room
About a month ago I went to the Hoh Rainforest for a piece I was writing at the time. While I was there I came across an enormous fallen tree, wider than I was tall. The tree was big enough for me and the friend I went with to walk on top side by side.
When we peered down at the gaping hole the tree had ripped in the ground, the root system mystified us.
Massive gnarled staffs of wood shot out at all angles—the giant, person sized fingers that drew the tree's nutrients from the forest's loamy, red soil.
Over at Suyama Space in Belltown, two artists managed to recreate the overwhelming immensity of the Hoh Rainforest with their installation Drawn From The Olympics(which we also wrote about here). It's closing this Friday, and definitely worth a visit before it gets stuffed in the world's largest recycling bin.
Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen, two artists from Brooklyn, took individual trips to the Hoh to prepare for the creation of the piece. The two then attempted to reconstruct the feeling of the ancient forest by conjuring up a room-consuming installation out of black, rolled up paper.
The piece is more than effective—walking into the room you are instantly swallowed up by the creation. Like the trees in the Hoh, Drawn From The Olympics commands your attention through its sheer scale.
The piece occupies the entirety of the room.
Walking the installation's perimeter, it's a joy getting drawn into the tiny details of the mimicked roots, branches, and trees, curling around your feet and looming above you.
The best part of the installation is the surprise ending. After winding around the piece, a secret tunnel reveals itself at the far end of the room that gains you passage inside the black paper forest. This is when the piece shines—when you are literally engulfed within it.
Just like the rainforest it seeks to imitiate, Drawn From The Olympics' scale does a good job of hiding a less obvious characteristic—its fragility. As huge as the piece is, it's easy to forget that it's all made of thin, tearable paper.