Thursday, January 28, 2010

When is an Elephant Bed ... not for an elephant?

When it is a coccolithophore!!

On a beautiful Friday in January, I collected three women friends and we journeyed
to Bellingham, gasping regularly at the Cascade and Olympic mountain views. Significant amounts of new snow in the previous days, the air so clear and the sky a brilliant blue, meant that we could see every peak: unbelievably beautiful. Our plan was to have lunch with the northern Darling family and then visit the new Whatcom Museum to see the current exhibitions.

There is a new restaurant in the Fountain District of Bellingham, opposite the Re-Store, aptly named The Fountain Bistro. It recently opened in a former KFC building and it is a delight for the eyes and great food for the tummy!
Following a visit to show my friends A Little Darling School (the fabulous preschool and kindergarten owned by Jason and Netta and directed brilliantly by Netta) who by the way were as impressed as everyone we have eve
r taken there, we adjourned to the Fountain Bistro where Eva proceeded to charm everyone around her in the restaurant and we ate a delicious lunch.

Whatcom Museum ( was next on our agenda. If you have read my recent postings you will know I have been much involved with elephants for some weeks! ( We then stepped into a different world altogether by visiting Bloom: The Elephant Bed - an amazing and wonder-inducing installation by John Grade, a local Seattle artist.
"Inspired by natural cycles of creation and destruction, John Grade's abstract sculptures reference the formation and erosion of landscape. Bloom: The Elephant Bed reflects the artist's fascination with microscopic organisms 
(called coccolithophores) whose limestone shells formed the chalky White Cliffs of Dover in the United Kingdom. Geologists call this exposed layer of calcium, laid down over 200,000 years ago, the "Elephant bed."
It is simply spectacular. I had seen the show before and so had the pleasure of sitting quietly in a corner and watching people's response to this amazing creation. The huge sculptural pieces hang and move quietly in this gallery, with twenty six foot high ceilings, in a slightly eerie manner. People are amazed, entranced, curious and amused: they walk around the suspended giant pieces quizzickly. Angling oneself underneath you can stand up inside of them - a slightly disorienting/dizzying experience as the piece moves gently arou
nd you.
On April 10th the giant pieces will be carried through Bellingham in a procession and lowered into Puget Sound where, because of the construction materials used, they will slowly dissolve! Be there.
At the Whatcom Museum there are other very worthwhile artworks to see from a Boise, Idaho couple's collection. Check the website ... it's worth a visit.

No comments:

Post a Comment