Mags Harries was born in Wales, graduated from the Leicester College of Art and Design, received her MFA at Southern Illinois University, and teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She is a multimedia artist who uses found objects, drawing, photography, performance, new technology, and 3D printing to fabricate visually alluring work. In 1990, Harries and her husband Lajos Héder, an architect and city planner, formed the Harries/Héder Collaborative. Their aim is to activate public spaces that combine practical functions with strong metaphorical significance and bring communities together. Water and water-related issues have been and continue to be a primary theme both in Harries’s individual studio practice and in her public art collaborations. She delights in transforming unassuming objects and places into something uniquely exceptional, leading us to see the ordinary in new ways.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL — Multidisciplinary national consulting firm WGI (Wantman Group) is pleased to announce that its collaborative Palm Beach County Art in Public Places commission, Windows on the Floating World: Blume Tropical Wetland Garden received another accolade — the “Award of Honor” from the Florida Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects in its 2018 annual design competition. They define the award as follows: Award of Honor – Bestowed in recognition of projects that demonstrate the inspired use of landscape architectural practices in an imaginative and well-resolved combination that adds to the body of the Landscape Architecture profession.
The wetland walkway creates display windows designed to showcase Florida-friendly aquatic plants that are installed in removable fabric pots to allow for interchangeable plantings. (photograph by Tim Stepian)
Mags Harries. Asaroton. Haymarket, Boston (detail). 1976, reinstalled 2005. Courtesy of the artist.
A scholarly article “Burnishing History: Mags Harries’ 1976 Asaroton,” by Martina Tanga in Public Art Dialogue: Volume 8, 2018- Issue 1: Food and Activism in Contemporary Public Art, which puts Asaroton into the sociopolitical time of its making.
“Windows on the Floating World educates visitors, inspiring them to learn more about the role and importance of wetlands and what they can do to protect them. In the artist’s words, “This tropical wetland garden is about water, immersion, and experience.” WGI helped design, develop, and transform a conceptual experience into a vibrant reality. By respecting and complementing the garden’s existing conditions, just six months after the project’s completion, this tropical wetland garden looked like it had always been there.”
Lajos Heder at Mounts Botanical Garden’s “Windows on the Floating World” Tropical Wetland Garden under construction. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
“Windows on The Floating World” is taking shape at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach, FL. Construction is underway on Mags Harries & Lajos Héder’s public artwork in collaboration with Wantman Group, Inc. (WGI).
LightPlay creates colorful light effects over the Broad Street SEPTA Station. Photo Credit: Zivadin Katanic, 2016
LightPlay on the SouthStart Lofts, over the Broad Street SEPTA Station downtown Philadelphia, PA is up! See more about Mags Harries and Lajos Héder’s public artwork here: http://harriesheder.com/project/lightplay/
A groundbreaking for a new tropical wetland garden designed by Mags Harries & Lajos Héder with Kirsten Siegel of WGI at the Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 5. (read the full article here.)
“WEST PALM BEACH — Mounts Botanical Garden plans to build a permanent exhibit, Windows on the Floating World, this fall.
The $500,000 project is described as “a series of see-through walkways and permanent and movable aquatic plants that will allow visitors to feel and connect to the tropical wetlands around them.”
Polly Reed, president of the Friends of Mounts, said the exhibit will include boardwalks, benches and displays to let visitors relax and reflect on ecology and the need to protect fresh water.
Transparent, open-gridded walkways will give visitors the feeling of walking on water. Within those walking areas will be four windows planted with aquatics rotated on a seasonal basis. Waterfalls will flow over natural stone. There’ll be an area for wading birds and a wall covered with bromeliads…”
At the 2016 Americans for the Arts PAN Public Art Preconference in Boston, Lajos Héder lead “Tour 4: Strategies for Survival: Artist Housing and Workspace in Fort Point”. Stops included the Cyber Arts Art on the Marquee, FPAC Public Art, Artists for Humanity and the artist-owned live/work housing at 300 Summer Street, home to the largest, oldest Artist Community in Boston. Lajos was the architect – more on that project found here.
Mags Harries show “Precautionary Tales” was highlighted in the Globe’s Week Ahead by Cate McQuaid. “Precautionary Tales” is at Gallery Kayafas in Boston though April 9th, 2016. Tuesday – Saturday 11- 5:30pm.