A Garden in the Desert

Jael Hoffmann’s “Topography of Belief”

No, it’s not a garden of plants, but rather a sculpture garden, right near one of the turnoffs from U.S. 395 to Panamint Springs and Death Valley. It’s off the side of the road on the left as one heads north on the highway. I’ve noticed it several times on my trips to and through the Owens Valley as I passed through the town of Olancha, just south of Lone Pine.

As soon as Martine’s broken wrist heals, I hope to spend a little time studying the metal sculptures of Jael Hoffmann and photographing them. Unlike most modern sculptures, which leave me cold, I find that Jael’s work sets off little explosions in my head. Really great art does that: It makes you a different person than the what you were a few minutes earlier.

There is an excellent video on YouTube in which the artist is interviewed and discusses several of her sculptures—including most especially the one illustrated above. It is called “Internal Scapes,” which is an accurate description of how they affect me.

An Interview with Jael Hoffmann

Below is one of her sculptures entitled “Give and Take”: It urges you to donate something in the can marked “Give” and take something from the can marked “Take.” As you examine both cans, your face is reflected in a mirror. Perhaps it will make you feel guilty if you take something without giving.

Jael Hoffmann’s “Give and Take”

Finally, there is another work I like which its creator calls “The Hitchhiker.” All three sculptures shown in this post are discussed in the YouTube video referred to earlier.

Jael Hoffmann’s “The Hitchhiker”

To see more of her work, I suggest you check out Jael’s website at www.jsculpt.com.