Rediscovering Wonder with Janet Echelman

Posted on April 22, 2016 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Can we rediscover our sense of wonder?

Wonder is one of our most moving emotions. It simultaneously makes us take pause and sends our minds careening into worlds of inspiration.

"As If It Were Already Here" net sculpture by Janet Echelman lit with many colors at night.
Source: JANET ECHELMAN // MELISSA HENRY

The artist Janet Echelman, didn’t start out with the intention of inspiring awe at the scale of buildings. After a series of mishaps lead her to inspiration, she created a new form of artistic expression that continues to capture the imagination to this day. Now, Janet’s work has graced cities all over the world, and her installations inspire awe at a grand scale.

Here she is from the TED Stage with her incredible story of adversity, triumph, and creativity…

Via: TED 1

Having stood beneath one of her sculptures in Singapore, to say they inspire awe is an understatement. There is a mesmerizing quality to them that is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. They are at once ethereal and monumental. They have a transfixing quality like nothing else.

Janet Echelman in Boston

Recently, Echelman exhibited a piece in Boston over the Rose Kennedy Greenway. While I, unfortunately, didn’t get to experience it first hand, I had several friends who took the time to lay beneath it and told me it was incredible.

Here is a marvelous, short piece from the photographer Julian Tryba that takes us through the build and final exhibition of “As If It Were Already Here.”

In a world where we use “wonderful” and “awesome” to describe things as mundane as a hamburger, rediscovering wonder and awe are particularly important to changing the dialogue about our world.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Janet several times, and every time I have left her presence, I have been inspired by the power of art to act as a catalyst for this kind of change.

Art isn’t just about creative expression, it is about creating moments that make us pause and reframe our worlds.

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Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge

Liesl can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV