The artwork includes vegetation from the Sonoran desert of the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico, including cedar bark, bear grass, and yucca, which is both woven and pulped into textural paper for the multi-story height installation in the Embassy.
Artist Terrol Dew Johnson and architects Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch, have created a monumental work of line and light that draws on the algorithmic structures of basket-weaving, extending the possibilities in ancestral techniques to achieve dramatic sculptural geometries for a site-specific commission for the new US Embassy in Asunción, Paraguay
Dew Johnson is a member of the Tohono-O’odham Nation, which is located in South Western Arizona, and is a federally-recognized tribe that includes approximately 28,000 members occupying tribal lands. The Nation is the second largest reservations in Arizona in both population and geographical size, with a land base of 2.8 million acres and 4,460 square miles, approximately the size of the State of Connecticut
ArandaLasch is a New York and Tucson-based design studio established in 2003 by Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch. Recognition includes the United States Artists Award, Young Architects + Designers Award, Design Vanguard Award, AD Innovators, and the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award. Their early projects are the subject of the book, Tooling. ArandaLasch has exhibited internationally in galleries, museums, design fairs and biennials. Their work is part of the permanent collection of the MoMA in New York
Dew Johnson was approached by Ben Aranda and Chris Lasch, the principals of New York- and Tucson-based firm Aranda/Lasch, after the architects saw an exhibition in 2006 of Dew Johnson’s work at the National Museum of the American Indian, New York.
Collaboratively, Dew Johnson and Aranda/Lasch have since exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, establishing Dew Johnson as a significant contemporary artist of formal inventiveness who works in a material language that is evocative of a specific personal and cultural landscape.