Matthew Ritchie has been commissioned to create a new major site-specific commission for the University of North Texas's College of Visual Arts and Design Building.
For this project, Matthew Ritchie created Shadow Garden, an environmental-scale sculpture. The work is fabricated from laser-cut stainless steel plate and brass elements that are plug welded to a sectional curved stainless steel pipe frame, custom powder-coated and distressed, and mounted on CNC-cut stone block supports.
Ritchie has described his work as an attempt to “create a landscape where different kinds of information can coexist...to convey my personal sense of how incredibly rich and complicated the world is.” As a part of this work, the sculpture is integrated into a new paved area, with artist-selected, site-specific, native species planted in the area immediately around it. The paved perimeter is notched, with semi-floating pavers, to allow inter-planted groundcover, climbers, and native plants to interact with the work. Ritchie’s intention is for the plantings to migrate and change naturally as they vie for resources, producing a “wild garden,” and an ever-changing landscape of evolutionary competition at work.
The swirling sculptural form of the enveloping structure is designed to concretize a storm of information within a recognizable gestural form that emphasizes the human trace. He explains, “I’m intrigued by the possibility of creating a space and time to glimpse this storm, an ambiguity machine, manifesting in the space between buildings and disciplines; between nature, language, physics and art, a shadow generator, operating in both space and time.”