Kudzu has a rich and interesting history in the United States but it's presence trancends a simple history. Kudzu is a representation and a metaphore for much of the human interaction with the planet. It's presence demonstrates how humans have destroyed and changed ecosystems, how ecosystems are a ballanced and self-regulating system, and most of all it demonstrates the lack of forethought seen abroad in enviromental issues. This sculptural piece of art explores the relationship between human beings, the presence of Kudzu, and the Earth.
The sculpture was installed in Atlanta's Hurt Park on April 22, 2009 as an activist piece and in reflection of Earth Day.
Anyone cutting through the park was in for a surprise, the sculpture, a generous 9ft long 5ft wide and 18in tall, drew peoples attention in many different intriguing ways. Most people had questions of concept and purpose and then further they asked about Kudzu and why it is here. In the eyes of a young girl, it appeared to be quite the photo opportunity! She had here mother photograph her as she crawled underneath the fingers and pretended to be attacked by the sculpture. The regulars of the park fell quickly quite fond of it, one jokingly yelled "don't take my hand away," as it was removed later that night.
Working with Kudzu can be quite rewarding, the vine is very flexible, strong and easy to control. Many people make baskets with it. Also Kudzu is cost effective (free) due to its unnceissary abundance in the Southeast. The hardest part about using this plant, is physically retrieving it. So next time a field of Kudzu comes into view or when some starts taking over the yard, think of the creative uses with it that can make contolling this pest transplant species a little more fun.
Dryed Kudzu Vines
Field of Kudzu in Georgia
Kudzu is also known for its climbing abilities
Photographs and Sculpture by Andrew Kirby