Krulwich Wonders...
11:40 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Giant Crumpled Paper Drops From The Sky, Lands On Hill In New Zealand

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:04 pm

You are standing in a park in New Zealand. You look up at the top of a hill, and there, balanced on the ground, looking like it might catch a breeze and blow away, is a gigantic, rumpled piece of paper.

Except ... one side of it, the underside, is ... not there. You can see the sky, clouds, birds where there should be paper, so what is this?

As you approach, you realize it is made of metal. It's a sculpture, made of welded and painted steel that looks like a two dimensional cartoon drawing of a three dimensional piece of paper ... that is three dimensional if you get close, but looks two dimensional if you stay at the bottom of the hill...

...as you can see from these two-dimensional photographs of the three-dimensional sculpture that looks like a two-dimensional cartoon sitting on a three-dimensional hill — STOP!!! My head hurts.

Here's an artwork that fools with my brain and makes me think that what I see — or think I see — is a curious mix of expectation, distance, chance and brain circuitry. And, in this case, delight.


Neil Dawson, the sculptor, likes to work big. This one, called "Horizons" is 118 feet long, four stories high, and it sits in a private art park (the public is invited, but you have to make an appointment) owned by a New Zealand millionaire who commissioned this piece (and 21 others from different artists), then added sheep (we are in New Zealand, after all), plus a few giraffes, zebras, water buffalo and yaks to give the place a little biological variety. I first saw it in a new collection of artistic illusions compiled by Brad Honeycutt and Terry Stickels called The Art of the Illusion, Deceptions to Challenge the Eye and Mind.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.