Washed Away by Sébastien Léon

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A large-scale sculpture that explores the world’s biological dynamic.

Originally commissioned by the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival, Washed Away is a musical sculpture that now gains a new meaning in a new setting. Art gallery Case placed the artwork in its new desert sculpture park, Case Pioneertown, during the Frieze Los Angeles 2022 festival. The location, in the Joshua Tree National Park, gives the large-scale piece a deeper meaning as it puts the concept behind the work in a layered context.

French Los Angeles-based artist and designer Sébastien Léon created the work as an exploration of the world’s new biological dynamic. Since 1970, the world’s biodiversity has seen a sharp decline, of around 68%, with many species gone forever. Inspired by the skeleton of a beached whale, the sculpture features curved steel pipes that create an organic structure. Washed Away opens up a dialogue about humanity’s power for destruction but also for protection and preservation.

The world’s oceans are under constant threat from pollution, global warming, and over-fishing. However, humanity also has the capacity to change this dynamic. The steel pipes also represent humanity’s creative spirit. Although the sculpture initially served as a musical companion for the Dallas Symphony during the Soluna International Music & Arts Festival, here it becomes an instrument for change. The site becomes the perfect backdrop; the desert, vegetation, rocky hills, and mountains surround the artwork while the sun illuminates it with a warm glow. To create the piece, the artist collaborated with Fife Metal Works. Photography© Sébastien Léon.

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