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Matthew Ritchie at University of North Texas

Shadow Garden

Denton, TX

Permanent Installation

Matthew Ritchie's Shadow Garden, installed on campus, with students walking by

Installation View, Matthew Ritchie, Shadow Garden, University of North Texas, College of Visual Arts and Design Building, 2022. 

Press Release

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 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.”

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