Artist JANET ECHELMAN goes with the flow.

American artist and sculptor Janet Echelman lets air currents do the work for her – she creates large-scale, suspended sculptures in which the wind acts as a co-creative force.

It all started when Echelman was visiting a fishing village in India. While there, she found that she could use fishing nets “to make volumetric form without heavy solid materials”, as she explained in a 2011 TED Talk, which has now been viewed by more than 1.7 ­million people. When Echelman hung up her first sculpture made from these fishing nets she saw how “their soft surfaces, revealed every ­ripple of wind, in constantly shifting patterns… As I watched the wind’s choreography unfold, I felt sheltered, and at the same time, ­connected to limitless sky.”

Since then, Echelman has created increasingly spectacular public works for cities all around the world. She has also tried working with new materials and started using lighting to enhance the effect of what she calls “the wind’s choreography”. Her work has also been ranked number one in O, The Oprah Magazine’s list of ‘Fifty Things That Make You Say Wow!’

Photo: Ron Blunt Artist: JANET ECHELMAN