Big SurDescanso Gardens presents Signs of Life  — an exhibition that explores the theme of water as the fountain of life.  Signs of Life examines, celebrates and questions the presence and many roles of water in our environment and in life itself.

What could be a more profound reminder of the life-enabling necessity of water than a botanical garden like Descanso? After all, 70 percent of our planet consists of water, 72% of our own body-weight is made of water, and for many species of plants, it’s much higher than that.” By virtue of their fundamental processes of photosynthesis and transpiration, plants are a major component of the Earth’s water cycle.

Ezekiel.1 LLasworth (1)Signs of Life, with curatorial coordination by John David O’Brien, will feature art works that celebrate water in all its moods and states — literal, symbolic, poetic, and metaphorical. Artists whose work is under consideration include Matthew Chase-Daniel, Stephen Douglas, F. Scott Hess, Laura Lasworth, Margaret Lazzari, Marina Moevs, Christine Nguyen, Stephen Nowlin, Bill Viola, Ruth Weisberg, and Patty Wickman.

The artists examine water from varied perspectives — biologically, environmentally, ecologically, metaphorically and even spiritually. Artist works are accompanied by interactive / educational programming that examines and reveals the extent of the connections between this simple but miraculous substance and the possibility of life — on Earth, and (perhaps) elsewhere.

WATERBOURNE1973Naturalist Loren Eisley once wrote, “If there is magic on the planet, it is contained in the water.” “Signs of Life” promisesto be a lively and thought-provoking debut for Descanso Gardens in the Pasadena AxS Festival world, one that we hope will surprise, delight, and — yes –refresh everyone who sees it.

SIGNS OF LIFE opens September 7, 2014 with a public reception at 4pm.

On view daily (except Monday) from 10am – 4pm in the Sturt Haaga Gallery.

Free with admission to Descanso Gardens.

Image credits (top to bottom):

Matthew Chase-Daniel
Big Sur, 2001
Inkjet print edition of 20, 37 x 32 in.
Courtesy of the artist and
Craig Krull Gallery

Laura Lasworth
Ezekiel Tending to the Garden of Dry Bones, 2013
Oil on panel, 47 x 29 in.
Courtesy of the artist and
Lora Schlesinger Gallery

Ruth Weisberg
Waterbourne, 1973
Original lithograph
in three colors, edition of 30 plus 10 proofs, 42 1/8 x 30 1/8 in.
Courtesy of the artist andJack Rutberg Fine Arts