• Staff Photo
  • Museum Staff

    February 15, 2018
Feature Image "Tide" in the sculpture garden

New Installment Added to Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden

From Michelangelo’s David to Giacometti’s “Walking Man I,” sculpture has long paved the way for explorations of art and the human form in distinctive ways. The newest permanent installation at the Georgia Museum of Art is no exception.

“Tide” is an androgynous, life-sized, cast-iron sculpture standing right outside the entrance to the museum’s Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden. Standing nearly six feet tall and with a glass strip inlay in its left arm, the sculpture possesses no distinguishable features other than a pair of lips and a nose.

Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir (pronounced Stay-nun Thorens-daughter) is a sculptor from Reykjavik, Iceland, who has been exhibiting her art around the world for 38 years. Þórarinsdóttir studied sculpture from 1974 to 1980 in England and Italy. She previously exhibited her sculptures at the museum in 2011 during the inauguration of the sculpture garden in a yearlong exhibition titled “Horizons.” Þórarinsdóttir came to the museum in March of 2011 to discuss her installation.

Þórarinsdóttir says of her choice to become a sculptor, “I guess partly it was due to the fact that I come from a country that is in constant flux and formation. . . . When I started to work with sculpture it just felt like I had found my home. I was suddenly in control and connected. I could transfer my thoughts and feelings into something real and physical.”

The sculpture garden exhibits only works by woman artists, with “Tide” taking the second permanent position in the garden. The other sculpture occupying the garden is “Terra Verte #1” by Patricia Leighton, a Scottish artist.

Þórarinsdóttir is particularly thrilled about her sculpture being placed in the garden, emphasizing, “The fact that the Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden focuses only on female sculptors makes it absolutely unique. Especially considering that sculpture was for a long time thought to be a section of the visual arts that was for men only!”

The sculpture was purchased with a gift from patron Judith Ellis in honor of docent Carol Dolson. Ellis has volunteered and supported the museum, served on the board for the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art and created the Judith A. Ellis Endowment for Education. Carol Dolson is an award-winning children’s book author who graduated from UGA and lives in Athens, Georgia.

-- Stephanie Motter Communications Intern