Egg Nest – Installation Art

Client: San Antonio Botanical Gardens – Bird Houses Exhibit

Architect:  Steven Ohlhaber

Artist:  Susan Ohlhaber

This conceptual structure, “Egg Nest” was accepted as a submission by the San Antonio Botanical Gardens for their open request for artwork. The theme for the exhibition was “Bird Houses”. The project will be constructed and displayed on the grounds for three months.

The concept of the art piece is to call the emotion of “loss” and “rescue” and use it as a metaphor for the work that needs to be done to save endangered bird species. The structure calls to mind a bird’s egg that is fallen from the nest. The egg is proportioned to human scale and designed for visitors to enter. As one enters the “lost egg”, they experience an interior that is made of hay bales, yarn, twig, and bits of found material. The visitor realizes that they are back inside the nest and “rescued” through this fallen object. Upon leaving the comfort of the interior, they again are in the presence of the lost egg. To save the nest, requires saving the egg, and saving the egg requires saving the species.

The experience of a bird is captured further through light and color. The windows are painted primary colors (red, yellow, and blue). The filtered light comes into the nest, overlapping and mixing throughout the day, creating secondary and tertiary colors. The feeling is reminiscent of the abundance of cones in a bird’s eye which allows it to see color far more sensitive than the human eye. Glass crystals are suspended from the oculus to catch and scatter light, further embellishing the bird’s extraordinary ability to see the ultraviolet light spectrum.

The structure is to be built with reclaimed wood, pallets, burlap coffee bags and hale bale construction.  The project will be disassembled and recycled at the end of the exhibit.

Links to news on exhibit:

Steven Ohlhaber Architect Portfolio 2014 - Egg Nest v02 Blue Egg