PODA: INVASIVE SPECIES
Houston Arts Alliance
The Portable On Demand Art (PODA) project is a temporary public art installation series featuring the transformation of PODS® Containers into works of art. If PODA sounds familiar, that’s because this is PODA 2.0 – the first iteration debuted in conjunction with the 2011 American Association of Museums Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo™.
PODA 2.0 represents a true public/private partnership between Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and PODS® Containers, Gensler and the City of Houston through hotel occupancy tax (HOT) funds. The 2014 - 2015 artists who received HAA grants for PODA 2.0 are Elaine Bradford and Emily Link, Brandon Ray and Team Paper Brain (Darwin Arevalo, Rodney Flores, Rob Mozell, Lisa Ray and Janiece Rivas), Thomas Rolls, Jr. and Troy Stanley. Over the next few weeks, we’ll get to know the artists and their works of art. First on our list are Elaine Bradford and Emily Link’s work titled Invasive Species.
By definition, an invasive species is a plant or animal that isn't native to a specific location and has a tendency to spread. Mention this phrase to a gardener and you’ll get a sneer.
But Elaine Bradford and Emily Link’s PODA is another story. One peek inside the PODS® Containers takes the viewer to an immersive, lush land—a whimsical forest filled with flora and fauna, creatures and figures, all unassuming and waiting for you to paint a story. Spied through a series of portholes placed at varying heights on the exterior of the structure, the scene unfolding in Invasive Species beckons viewers to determine whether each creature is in fact an invasive species.
The outside of the PODS® container mimics the scene on the interior, painted with a forest-like mural that’s vivid and inviting. For the interior, Bradley and Link created the soft sculptural elements using a variety of materials and techniques – everything from found materials and artificial plants to Bradford’s signature work with yarn and taxidermy.
Visitors to Invasive Species will be invited to participate in the work on a few special occasions over the course of the installation. Link and Bradford will don costumes carefully designed for the installation, and viewers can themselves become an invasive species (or will they?). To stay updated with the project, and learn about special immersive opportunities, follow the Invasive Species blog.