Los Angeles

Los Angeles’ philanthropists convene once a year to support REDCAT (Roy & Edna Disney/CalArts Theater), the California Institute of the Arts’ downtown center for contemporary arts. REDCAT is a hub of contemporary culture, and its annual gala is held in recognition of a major artist and/or a patron of the arts in the region. Escher GuneWardena were invited to create a scenography for the 2014 event honoring artist and philanthropist Herb Alpert.

Escher GuneWardena developed a scenography titled Clouds. Clouds represent the ephemeral, fleeting, and randomly structured formations found in all forms of creative thinking. The graphic images used to illustrate thought also represent change, movement, the breaking of rhythm—formless form.

A loosely shaped assemblage of many materials created a single large three-dimensional cloud, hovering in the center of the room. An armature of flexible metal tubing held together crumpled metal mesh, sheaths of theatrical fabric, clusters of branches, and clouds of blossoms, forming a huge sculptural mass. The structure was made using ikebana tying techniques and composed as a large-scale ikebana arrangement, similar to works made for stage in Japan. The reflective materials of the mass were then washed in continuously changing hues of light—pastel cloud colors, from pale blues and grays, to pinks, lavenders, and pale yellows.