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Monumental metal origami adorns Atlanta Botanical Garden

  • June 17, 2022

She had seen Box’s work exhibited at other gardens, but always on a smaller scale, and ABG’s exhibits tend toward the Brobdignanian. So she convinced Box to go bigger, and he created new, much larger metal sculptures.

“His previous work was more in the six-foot range,” Matheson said. “We needed a couple of monumental pieces to carry the show. The other thing he added was color. A lot of his work was white because it comes from paper. He really amped it up with color.”

The connection is obvious once it’s explained. “Origami is made from paper, and paper is made from plants, so in many ways that ties into the botanical garden’s mission,” Box said.

Box hopes that once visitors have had their fill of the eye-popping masses of metal outside, they’ll spend a few moments inside the Gardenhouse, where the Inside Out exhibit explains how Box creates his sculptures.

Most of the Origami in the Garden exhibit is outdoors, but these butterflies hang in the Fuqua Conservatory.
Courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Credit: Handout

Most of the Origami in the Garden exhibit is outdoors, but these butterflies hang in the Fuqua Conservatory.
Courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Credit: Handout

Most of the Origami in the Garden exhibit is outdoors, but these butterflies hang in the Fuqua Conservatory.
Courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

He starts with normal sized origami, elaborate shapes folded according to the Japanese art form from a single square piece of paper, executed by him and several collaborators. Then he scales them up and casts and welds them in bronze, aluminum or stainless steel, a process that takes about 12 weeks.

When he unfolds the original paper, it shows the web of complex creasings, and it’s those unfoldings that hang on the walls of Gardenhouse and show the process.

“We can make anything out of a single square of paper,” Box explained. “And at

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