Artist Dalya Luttwak takes hard steel and transforms it into the sinuous shapes of roots. For a recent show at the Greater Reston Art Center in Virginia, Luttwak chose as one of her subjects the root system of Cannabis Sativa. Cannabis, a plant of many uses, which evokes strong and complex responses and touches on so many areas of our culture – industrial, medical, recreational, and criminal – is an irresistible subject for art.
Working in a combination of gilded and blackened steel, the artist “sought the “golden balance” arising from the combination of vertical and horizontal black roots, and existing between the different elements of the Cannabis plant and their nutritious, medical, and psychedelic uses.”
Luttwak, who was born in Israel and now works in the US, says that her work tries to “uncover the hidden beauty of roots, exploring the relationship between what grows above the ground and the invisible parts below of various root systems. My sculptures reveal what nature prefers to conceal. My wish is to uncover and discover roots even when they are hidden, indeed especially when they are hidden.” (source)
Beyond the secrets of plant life, however, this sculpture, and many of Luttwak’s other works, strongly evoke the brain and nervous system. Seeing the roots of the Cannabis Sativa as a metaphor for the paths of chemical stimulation or even of our tangled attitudes to drug-taking, elevate and deepen our response to this deceptively simple art.
You can see more of Dalya Luttwak’s work on her website.