Don’t Be Afraid: Look Up

A new piece up at the Jepson Center in Savannah, GA. I review this piece as it sores above the lobby when you walk right in. I hated it. Or, so I thought.


Kate Lacivita

4/24/20234 min read

Earth Angel by Sam & Tury (@friendswithyou)

Inflated, 20ft x 40ft

Installation piece at the Jepson Center, Telfair Museums

From April 15th, 2023 to April 2024

About the work and artists

Enter into the Telfair Museum and you will see Earth Angel as it flies above the lobby of the Jepson Center. Is it a butterfly? A moth? Towering over the people dining at the Wildflower cafe down below or waiting to purchase tickets at the front desk, it is always watching you. Walking by on the outside of the building, it is very hard to miss when looking inside. The piece is massive in size, taking up the majority of the interior ceiling of the first floor. However, the color choice of a chrome finish is somewhat of a let down. It blends in with the color scheme of the rest of the interior (which is mostly white, grey and polished steel). It washes away the monumentality from the exterior, making it seem like apart of the architecture of the building rather than a stand alone piece of art. When you are inside, unless you look right above you it is almost something I would miss at first glance. It is monumental in size, so when I started up the stairs, to the second floor and turned around it is right in your face. It is very hard to miss once you are inside the building.

Credit of the Telfair Museums Instagram

My first impression of the piece came from the Telfair Museum’s post about it on their instagram page. This impression was not good, I must admit. The photos make the piece appear like a sleeping bag in a way, blown up and hanging awkwardly in the lobby space that makes it seem too small to hold this creature inside it. The color reflecting is almost metallic and shiny, which made me believe it was created for taking photos in its reflection only. It also looks like a giant moth descending onto the poor, unknowing visitors of the museum who are unlucky enough to be in the way of this monstrosity.

Although, when seeing it in person you get a completely different feeling. When visiting the Jepson Center yesterday, I expected to hate and dislike the piece right away. To my surprise I actually did not. I will not say I loved the piece, as it is not one of my favorite instillation pieces I have seen, but it is not bad. The material gives more of a matte finish off, so you actually cannot see yourself in the surface of the butterfly. I also heard the curator, Erinn Dunn speak about the intention of the piece that the artist wanted. It is to bring joy and happiness into the world, and be something whimsical and interesting to look at. I did feel those emotions when I first saw the piece too. It was strange, having the mindset that I did coming into the museum changed so suddenly when I saw the piece itself.

This piece is an interesting one, no doubt. It was able to sway me on the side that it belonged where it was (and it was made site specific might I add). I may have chosen a differnt color, and perhaps indicated it was a butterfly in some way better than what the actual piece does (again, it looks like a moth) it is not a terrible piece. I do not hate it, but I do not love it. I am content that it is there, but I would not go out of my way to see it. I think other pieces by the artists have more power to grab the emotions they are trying to get across (like their clouds, rainbows or silly characters they use in inflateable fasions) would have been a better decision to place in the lobby. I was more suprised that the piece was able to change my mind so suddenly. This is what interests me the most about Earth Angel, and its sway over my heart.

Photo taken by me, on my iPhone

Photo taken by me, on my iPhone

Photos taken by me, on my iPhone