Immersive Installation Invites Viewers to Traverse a Suspended Crocheted Spiral

Immersive Art Installation

Ernesto Neto, SunForceOceanLife (installation view), 2020, crocheted textile and plastic balls, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © 2020 Ernesto Neto / photograph by Albert Sanchez

Artist Ernesto Neto creates expansive crochet works that immerse the viewer within their woven worlds. His latest—and largest—fiber art piece to date is no exception. Titled SunForceOceanLife, the labyrinth installation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston features a massive netted space that invites visitors to step inside and explore its interior pathways—all while suspended in the air.

As the name implies, SunForceOceanLife is intended to highlight the “cyclical relationship between the Sun and the sea to produce life on Earth.” It is clad in warm hues that are handwoven and sewn in a spiral formation. Viewers enter the piece from one end and walk along a ground filled with soft, plastic balls which require stability and balance on the part of the visitor. Once traversed, they’ll exit on another side of the piece.

With its yellows, oranges, and green colors, one can’t help but think about the planet we live on. “SunForceOceanLife is about fire, the vital energy that enables life on this planet,” explains Neto. “Every time we complete one crocheted spiral with the polymer string used in this work, we burn both ends with fire in a gesture that evokes meditation, prayer, and other sacred rituals. I hope that the experience of this work will feel like a chant made in gratitude to the gigantic ball of fire we call the Sun, a gesture of thanks for the energy, truth, and power that it shares with us as it touches our land, our oceans, and our life.”

SunForceOceanLife is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston through Sunday, September 26, 2021.

Artist Ernesto Neto has created an immersive crochet installation that invites viewers to traverse a suspended spiral.

Crochet Art Installation by Ernesto Neto

Ernesto Neto, SunForceOceanLife (installation view), 2020, crocheted textile and plastic balls, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © 2020 Ernesto Neto / photograph by Will Michels

Crochet Art Installation by Ernesto Neto

Ernesto Neto, SunForceOceanLife (installation view), 2020, crocheted textile and plastic balls, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © 2020 Ernesto Neto / photograph by Albert Sanchez

Immersive Art Installation

Ernesto Neto, SunForceOceanLife (installation view), 2020, crocheted textile and plastic balls, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © 2020 Ernesto Neto / photograph by Albert Sanchez

Crochet Art Installation by Ernesto Neto

Ernesto Neto, SunForceOceanLife (installation view), 2020, crocheted textile and plastic balls, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © 2020 Ernesto Neto / photograph by Albert Sanchez

Immersive Art Installation

Ernesto Neto, SunForceOceanLife (installation view), 2020, crocheted textile and plastic balls, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © 2020 Ernesto Neto / photograph by Thomas R. DuBrock

Immersive Art Installation

Ernesto Neto, SunForceOceanLife (installation view), 2020, crocheted textile and plastic balls, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © 2020 Ernesto Neto / photograph by Thomas R. DuBrock

Immersive Art Installation

Ernesto Neto, SunForceOceanLife (installation view), 2020, crocheted textile and plastic balls, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © 2020 Ernesto Neto / photograph by Thomas R. DuBrock

Crochet Art Installation by Ernesto Neto

Ernesto Neto, SunForceOceanLife (installation view), 2020, crocheted textile and plastic balls, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © 2020 Ernesto Neto / photograph by Will Michels

Crochet Art Installation by Ernesto Neto

Ernesto Neto, SunForceOceanLife (installation view), 2020, crocheted textile and plastic balls, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © 2020 Ernesto Neto / photograph by Will Michels

Ernesto Neto: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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