Sculpture Brings Life to the Garden in More Ways than One

Sculpture
Verita is one of the metal sculptures designed for gardens by Terra Sculpture. Photos courtesy of Terra Sculpture

The drought may be driving most of us crazy, but it has increased demand for outdoor sculptures by Terra Sculpture – and perhaps by other sculptors, too. The latest CA-Modern issue spotlights outdoor art in ‘Gallery Alfresco,’ a useful overview by home-improvement editor Tanja Kern.

You can find that article linked as a PDF at the tail end of this piece.

“Lots of clients in low water landscapes put this sculpture in there as a kind of eye candy,” says  Terra Sculptor’s Jennifer Gilbert Asher, who grew up in Marin County and lives and works in Los Angeles. Her partner in Terra Sculpture is Mario Lopez, an architect and metal artist.                                      

The sculpture “provides provide an architectural element, a structural element, an emotional element in the garden.”

‘Gallery Alfresco’ explores a range of affordable sculpture available to homeowners. Asher and Lopez, who work with two assistants, create limited-edition metal sculpture in various colors and finishes – and each has a different effect.

“It changes the whole environment. Really, it transforms the space when you put a work of sculpture into any environment, especially an outdoor environment,” Asher says.

“With modern homes that have that indoor-outdoor relation, the sculpture blurs the lines. You can enjoy it from inside the house as well as outside the house,” she says, and adds that many homeowners move the sculpture from season to season to create different views from different rooms in the house or within the garden itself.

Sisters
The sculpture 'Sisters' by Terra Sculpture enjoys life in a home designed by the famed modernist Arthur Erickson in Newport Beach.

“It kind of completes the feeling that people get when they walk outside,” she says of the effect sculptures have on people. “It’s more about feeling than anything else. We all put so much emotion, and so much money, into our homes. Sculpture makes people feel more connected when they choose a piece of art that makes the spot where it’s placed more alive.”

Asher, a former documentary filmmaker who found a second life as a landscape architect, moved into sculpture full time in 2009 when she decided it was just too difficult to find good, affordable sculpture for her residential landscapes.

She grew up in modern homes, and loves mid-century modernism. Many of her sculptures go to owners of those homes.

Besides limited editions, Terra Sculpture does commissions as well, generally variants of the edition pieces.

It may not be coincidental that most of the sculptures range in height from four-and-a-half feet to six-and-a-half – human sized. Asher tends to think of the sculptures as if they were alive. Pygmalion, perhaps?

“It’s almost like putting a human life out there,” she says, about placing one of the company’s sculptures in a garden. “I don’t want to make too much of this.”

“It almost hurts when the freight company comes and takes one away. Whenever we finish a sculpture, it feels like we’ve created some form of joy, for me.”

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