National Aquarium Jellies
They’re Jellies, not JellyFISH.
The folks at the National aquarium knew they wanted the jellies in their sculpture to be “realistic”, as opposed to representational, but they left the particulars up to us. The space that needed to be filled was massive, but the natural light coming through the enormous sky lights overhead and the floor-to-ceiling windows offered a great opportunity to create something truly eye popping.
Using computer models to render the elegant swoop and swirl of the jelly swarm, we designed a decorative steel armature in the shape of a rolling wave that could be suspended from the ceiling via a permanent hoist system. Once the six hundred jellies were fabricated and painted with an array of translucent colors, we hung them on strands of monofilament and attached them to the armature to match the computer model. Each “strand” was then lowered into a box, assigned a number, and shipped off to Baltimore. At the job site, the armature was lowered into place above the numbered boxes, the strands reconnected, and the entire sculpture raised into place wholly intact.
Keeping track of six hundred jellies and they’re precise location within the “swarm”, well, you need computers for that. Installing said jellies in their new home in a matter of hours instead of days…that takes good ol’ fashion grey matter. Which kind of looks like jellies, if you think about it.