The Dutch Wageningen University is one of the world’s leading educational institutions for agricultural sciences. A nice morning, afternoon or evening, a wonderful idea was born to the rectoral authorities: to give an artistic view of what the University provides and what also really it is. So, luckily, they gave the American sculptor Frank Plant – the name and the thing – the task of creating a sculptural work for the University, which would do the job.
Frank Plant in 2016 delivered his wall-mounted large scale sculptural composition entitled ‘Grow’. The materials he used were both inorganic and organic. Metal and Plants – an excellent combination for the creation of an artistic project intended to be set up at an Agricultural University.
With the use of these materials, Frank Plant gave with aesthetic terms a moment from the everyday life of students in the University campus. Student life in the real world but at the same time in the contiguous abstract space of ideas, learning, and – why not?- revery.
But Frank Plant also managed to do something else: the contemplation of the work, the thought on it and the admiration for it, now belong to the viewer.
Every job has also a heroic aspect. Frank Plant and his colleagues screw, assemble and place the sculpture in the intended position.
Approach to the sculptural composition ‘Grow’.
The ‘Grow’ sculptural composition consists of two distinct parts.
The left part of the project.
The right part of the project.
The project is proposed in two versions. In the first version, live plants are used.
In the second version no.
All the metal parts of the project have been flocked – a method by which many small fiber particles of fiber depositing onto a surface (flocking).
The choice of using this technique gives to metal parts the texture they could acquire if they were colonized by a living moss community.
In the nine heads of the fourteen figures there is the possibility of incorporating live plants.
If this finding is an aesthetic, ecological texture, conception or a sarcastic commentary on the knowledge that provided, we have said it above: the thought on the work is something that concerns the viewer and not the artist at all.
The artist is a simple aesthetic belt in a thriving art market.
… Or maybe not?
The Dire Straits musically saying goodbye to Frank Plant with their song Money for Nothing – or not?
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