Whimsical Dillidiidae Spotted in Hermann Park!
Have you spotted these Dillidiidae in Hermann Park? There is also a Mamadillidiidae. There is undoubtedly a Papadillidiidae out there somewhere as well. Only the Mama and her four cute quadruplets can be seen right now in Hermann Park.
It is easy to identify the Mamadillidiidae. She is much taller and bigger than her children.
Her cute little quadruplets are playing as children often do. They are somersaulting and tumbling about on the ground. The Dillidiidae are quite the little gymnasts! Their location is near a playground in the park.
These whimsical bubbly forms were created by the artist Sharon Engelstein.
According to a sign posted at the sight, the Dillidiidae were “inspired by Armadillidiidae, commonly known as ‘roly poly’ bugs.” I never knew that those little hard shelled bugs were called Armadillidiidae.
Just like an armadillo that can curl up with its outer shell protecting it, the bugs can do the same when threatened.
Below is some information about the Armadillidiidae.
Personally I do not think of bugs when looking at these cute organic forms. I think more of balloons or even the inside of a heated lava lamp.
Sharon Engelstein is undoubtedly familiar with lava lamps. She was born in Montreal, Canada in 1965.
Lava lamps were invented and first marketed in 1963 by a British citizen, Edward Craven Walker. They have passed their 50th anniversary and are still being made today! So lava lamps have been around for a long time.
Amoebozoa might also have inspired Sharon Engelstein when designing these sculptures. I first viewed some of them under a microscope when taking a science class many decades ago.
Below is a movie showing the real time movement of an Amoeba proteus.
Dimensions of Dillidiidae are variable just like a moving amoeba except hers are static.
These Hermann Park sculptures are covered with a concrete shell which enables kids to climb upon them.
Sharon Engelstein first uses a computer to create her designs.
From what I read, an engineer at a blimp company was able to transform her computerized images into the sculptural art forms. They are manufactured using various mediums.
Her works have been appreciated in numerous solo exhibitions as well as group shows all across America. As far away as Malta, art lovers have seen her distinctive sculptures. She also creates works on paper.
Ms. Engelstein received her Bachelors of Fine Art in Tampa, Florida and her MFA in California. Houston is now her home.
Personally I will be sad to see these whimsical figures disappear from their current location in Hermann Park. Looking at them makes me smile. They will be there until April, 2017.
These sculptures as well as others in the park were installed to celebrate Hermann Park’s 100th anniversary in 2014. Numerous foundations helped to fund this Art in the Park Centennial Art Project. Be sure and visit them if you get the chance!
While the video below does not show these sculptures or the children’s adjacent playground, it does show some of our magnificent 445 acre Hermann Park. At the end of the video the Japanese Garden can be seen. Enjoy!
Location of Hermann Park: