In Fantastical New Sculptures at Houston Botanic Garden, Tobin Captures the Power of the Natural World

In Fantastical New Sculptures at Houston Botanic Garden, Tobin Captures the Power of the Natural World

Tobin's 'Romeo and Juliet'

STEP OUTSIDE AND look around; you’ll see Spring is soon springing, and Houston Botanic Garden, one of the most beautiful natural spaces in the city, beckons.


Beginning Saturday, Jan. 28, and on view through Aug. 13, the Garden presents Intertwined: Exploring Nature’s Networks, a delightful outdoor exhibit of fantastical bronze, steel, glass and ceramic sculptures by Steve Tobin, each inspired by the natural world. Some stand as high as 30 feet above the natural beauty of the Bayou City’s premier living museum for plants. The show comes on the heels of the organization's wildly successful holiday light show, Lightscape.

“In the Garden, Steve Tobin’s works will invite viewers to engage with elegant nature-inspired forms,” says Claudia Gee Vassar, President and General Counsel of the Houston Botanical Garden. “The Garden will change with the seasons throughout the exhibition, providing different backdrops to explore the creativity of nature and Tobin’s artistry.”

Tobin may be best known for his 20-foot bronze sculpture “Trinity Root,” which was cast from the roots and stump of the historic sycamore tree that grew for more than 70 years in the churchyard of St. Paul’s Chapel and shielded the chapel during the World Trade Center attacks. Among the sculptures in Intertwined, Tobin’s “Romeo and Juliet,” was created using the same technique of casting tree roots in bronze. The two-piece sculpture is finished in bright red patina, evoking the passion shared between Shakespeare’s famous “star-crossed lovers.” Along the winding paths of the Garden, visitors will also encounter Tobin’s bronze and stainless steel clouds, eggs, and nests, sculptures the artist describes as “distillations that recontextualize nature in modernist forms.”

“Magic is my color of choice,” says Tobin of his work. “Roots above ground, clouds at your feet with people mirrored in them, nests with reflective eggs that bring you into the nest, twisty-as-forever sprouts lifting viewers up into the clouds — these seem impossible, yet real.”

'Dancing Roots'

'Steel Root'

'Twistys'

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