shape and shadow | RUTH ASAWA

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I was first introduced to Ruth Asawa’s work through some iPhone pictures that Linnae had sent me from the De Young Museum. Linnae must have known that I would love her work as much as she did. When she came back to the warehouse she raved about it and I knew that this was an artist to check out.


Ruth is an American artist and her medium is wire sculpture. Her composition plays off of negative space just as much as positive space. Part of the beauty of her work is within the way that a shadow can be thrown onto a wall based on the way that light shines through her woven sculptures. In other words Ruth plays with shape and shadow.


I felt like this was an important artist to look at because so often within the event design world we want more; “More flowers, more lighting, more whatever.” Within this “want,” there is a danger in something being lost…. that something is design. Good design stands alone. It’s not afraid of its shadow on a wall. It’s not afraid of its shape; rather it is proud of the clean lines in which it is drawn. Good design speaks of being well thought out and doesn’t need to cover things up.


What does this all mean? Of course I am speaking metaphorically in regards to event design. I wouldn’t consider myself a minimalist when it comes to design, I am an event designer and we do transform spaces. But we also look at the space that we are transforming and work along those lines not against them, much like Ruth has done with her work. Asawa’s design works with the spaces in which it resides. If it did not do this- it wouldn’t make sense.


There is simplicity and sophistication in Ruth’s work, which is similar to what we may see in nature. A well thought out design tends to flow together much like the way that the ocean seamlessly reaches the sand on a beach. And these are good examples to follow whenever we are designing an event or space.


Jonathan Asiel

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About Asiel Design

We believe design begins with a relationship of trust with your wedding planner and event designer. When choosing an event designer or a wedding coordinator, we believe that you should feel listened to, understood, and guided through the process in a way, which helps you achieve a look and feel that is personalized to your style. There should be a connection with the designer’s work, esthetic, and a comfort-ability with the professionalism of the company they represent. Mutual respect between the client and the wedding coordinator or event designer is the foundation to a successfully designed event. We believe it is the client who holds all the secrets to their design – what they like, what excites them, and the message and experience they desire to convey throughout their event.
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