Location: Great Lawn Border Garden

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Constructed from hundreds of handful-size balls of scrunched up aluminum foil attached to BBQ skewers and planted in the ground, Lucas Artists Fellow Judith Darragh new work Foil slowly transforms an untended area of Montalvo’s Gardens into a glimmering carpet of silver.

Darragh is a prolific New Zealand artist renowned for her brightly colored sculptural assemblages of found objects, recycled items, industrial materials, collage, photography, video, and poster art. Emerging as an artist during the 80s era of conspicuous consumption, Darragh’s work displays a fondness for everyday objects and plays with our views of material consumerism.

With her signature humor displayed in the unsophisticated nature of her materials and process, Darragh uses the materiality of foil to suggest such associations as amateur science experiments, survival blankets, and space travel. Responding to the current global conversation about the climate crisis, she presents the earth as an overheated patient under the tender care of a futuristic gardener busy planting a thermal protective cover to reflect heat from the sun. Ultimately, however, Darragh’s fictitious gardener seems doomed to failure as she is seemingly unaware that foil not only reflects but absorbs heat.

Read more about FOIL on our Open Access blog here.