Organized by the Cuadro Fine Art Gallery

Living Large

"Ant Colony": A larger-than-life bronze sculpture installation crawls its way onto the DIFC lawn

Eight monumental ant sculptures cast in bronze will settle into their new home on the DIFC lawn today with the opening of Ant Colony, the brainchild of American artist Susan P. Cochran.

The awe-inspiring large-scale installation is the first and largest interactive public art installation of its kind to be on display at the DIFC. The bronze sculptures, presented by Cuadro Fine Art Gallery in Dubai, will be exhibited on DIFC grounds for three months as part of Cuadro's cultural and social strategy, aiming to promote a dialogue of civic understanding and raise awareness of civic duties.

The premise of the installation is to portray the ant as a hard working creature that is respectful of its duties and works in conjunction with other ants in order to build a successful society and community.

"This is a phenomenal example of how art can transcend aesthetics and unchallenging beauty and speak a greater, more complex message. In this instance, it's the value and importance of community and duty. It is spectacular to say the least, and we are exceedingly pleased to be hosting these unique sculptures on our garden here at the DIFC," said Marwan Bin Beyat,Director of Art and Culture in the DIFC.

"Ants have been building uniquely planned cities for millennia; living in colonies supported by an instinct to cooperate and work together. Like any new city that requires an advanced infrastructure and network to support a growing community, an ant colony relies on cunning instinct, a demanding schedule and shared responsibilities that result in handiwork that is effective, reliable and immaculate," explained Bashar Al Shroogi, the managing director of Cuadro Fine Art Gallery.

The eight sculptures range in height from three to seven feet, and some reach as high as 10-feet tall and up to 25 feet in length. The largest, the queen, weighs in at a hefty 7,500 pounds and viewers can climb up her body on steps to see the whole colony. The bronze-cast ants require a crane and forklift to assemble, and were cleaned, buffed and refinished in preparation for their trip to Dubai. The seven subjects and their giant queen traveled by sea via two 40-foot containers from the port of Miami to the port of Jebel Ali. The ants will be installed on the lawns in between the Emirates Towers and the DIFC and Dubai TV will film a short documentary of the assembly of the installation.

"The bronze installation is a fun size reversal, which towers over viewers, magnifying the sleek and intricate ant form. This exceptional set of sculptures allows viewers a chance to take a moment and truly be immersed and appreciate the complexities of an unexplored, underappreciated world," said Cochran, the Palm Beach artist behind the work.

The installation is slated to move to another public site once their three-month stint at the DIFC comes to a close.

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