Large Marble Leaves by Claudia Comte Shine beneath Tall Oak Trees in Central Wharf Park

Enticed by the notice from NOW+THERE about the current installation of Claudia Comte’s Five Marble Leaves in Central Wharf Park, I visited on a sunny October morning. During a delightful half-hour documenting with my iPhone, I began to plan a first post that would convey the captivating combination of artwork and setting. I hope these photos, quotes, notes, and links meet that goal now, or otherwise soon after further adventures in the park.

“For Boston, and all who are curious and engaged, Now + There is a public art curator that challenges our city’s cultural identity by taking artistic risks and consistently producing compelling projects. Our projects are temporary and site specific, hence our name.”(quote from NOW+THERE website)

“Swiss artist Claudia Comte has long been inspired by the wonders of nature. Her love of flora and fauna from different environments has resulted in magnificent sculptures in the form of cacti, coral, and leaves. Inspired by the 24 pin and red oak trees inhabiting Central Wharf Park, she developed this new body of work, Five Marble Leaves” (quote from NOW+THERE, Five Marble Leaves )

The oak leaves “star-like” shape led to the totemic yet whimsical forms carved from Carrara marble, through a multi-step process that involves hand carving, 3D imaging, and the transformation of marble into majestic and playful sculptures. (quote from NOW+THERE, From Forest to Form)

The five sculptures are complemented by six marble plaques bearing fragments of quotes by leading environmental activists such as David Attenborough, Rachel Carson, Jane Goodall, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Greta Thunberg, and Paul Watson.” (quote from NOW+THERE, Five Marble Leaves )

Comte has been inspired by the wonders of nature; for too long, examples of her work have been inaccessible in the US. We’re proud to unveil, with Guest Curator Pedro Alonzo, Comte’s first outdoor exhibit in Boston.… Five Marble Leaves awakens the inner child, inspiring play, touch, and perhaps a hug. The installation is a reminder of our interdependence and impact on the global ecosystem.(quote from Tactile Tour and Celebration, Five Marble Leaves )

Pedro Alonzo is a Boston-based independent curator who specializes in working with artists to develop ambitious artworks in public space. …Alonzo is committed to providing opportunities for artists to engage broader audiences by presenting contemporary art in the public realm and by developing projects, which stimulate participation as an integral component of the artwork.” (quote from ARTPOOL, Pedro Alonzo)

I had missed out on the tactile tour earlier in October, but I hoped to see hands-on interactions with the art during my visit. Though many people of all ages walked through the park, among the sculptures, no one touched or hugged the sculptures as the signs encouraged. So I began to touch the surfaces and lean into the human-size marble leaves. During that welcomed closeness, I managed some “selfies” of my left hand.

Then when I was just about to leave the patient personable leaves, three girls came through on bikes and stopped to study the leaf sculptures. The next few minutes offered what I had wished to witness plus some photo evidence.

On my next visit, I’ll try to bring friends who will respond to the signs’ suggestions and interact more fully with the receptive art!

Five Marble Leaves is on view through August 2023 at Central Wharf Park, across from the New England Aquarium at 250 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA.


NOW+THERE, Five Marble Leaves

Claudia Comte works

Pedro Alonzo, ARTPOOL

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