In the late 1990s artist Janet Echelman traveled to India as a Fulbright Scholar with the intention of giving painting exhibitions around the country. She shipped her painting supplies ahead of time and landed in the fishing village of Mahabalipuram to begin her exhibitions with one major hitch: the painting supplies never arrived. While walking through the village Echelman was struck by the quality and variety of nets used by the local fisherman and questioned what it might look like if such nets were hung and illuminated in the air. Could it be a new approach to sculpture? A new chapter in her artist career was born, and the artist has since dedicated her time and energy to creating these massive net sculptures in locations around the world.
In the early 1970s a man named Bruno (previously) started building simple rides in a forested area in northern Italy near his family’s restaurant in an attempt to attract customers. Osteria ai Pioppi is now a sprawling complex of nearly 50 rides powered completely by hand with pulleys, bicycle cranks, and gravity, and is now a major destination for locals and tourists to Battaglia. Talk about a novel approach to advertising. Bruno refers to the theme park as an “ecological park” and says he’s often inspired by movements or patterns found in nature which he tries to replicate in his wildly varied rides. This new video from Great Big Story gives us a quick glimpse of the many rides Bruno has built from hand over the last 40 years.