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  • Human+Nature
  • Gigantic sculpture of spirit to walk through


Opening Update

The Morton Arboretum’s next outdoor art exhibition, Human+Nature (pronounced: Human Nature), will inspire awe and wonder as it connects people and trees. Some exhibition materials remain in transit due to pandemic-related shipping delays; a new exhibition opening date will be decided in the coming weeks. Check this webpage for updates. 

Internationally renowned artist Daniel Popper created five 15- to 26-foot-tall sculptures exclusively for the Arboretum that will be featured in various locations across its 1,700 acres, leading guests to areas they may not have explored before. It will be his largest exhibition to date anywhere in the world. 
On the East Side, a short walk from the Visitor Center, guests will be able to step within a huge female figure, as if into the heart of nature. Continuing along a less than mile-long walk, they will encounter a majestic maternal figure as tall as a tree, and a sculpture of diverse human facial traits interwoven with root structures. On the West Side, two hands joined by intertwining roots will extend near a grove of old oaks, and a towering face will evoke the interconnectedness of humans and trees. Made of glass-reinforced concrete, fiberglass, and steel, each sculpture will weigh several metric tons. The largest ground footprint will be 28 feet wide and 37 feet long.
Trees have the power to refresh and restore people, to connect them to the natural world. People rely on trees for clean air to breathe, shade to cool, and beauty that can bring joy and relaxation, among many other benefits. In turn, trees need people to care for them if they are to thrive and share their benefits, especially in a changing climate. Guests are invited to reimagine their relationships with trees as they explore these expressive large-scale artworks while also enjoying the outdoors and the trees of The Morton Arboretum.

About the Artist

Daniel Popper is a multidisciplinary artist known globally for his larger-than-life sculptures. From Cape Town, South Africa, he is most acclaimed for his massive and spectacular public art installations, including the memorial sculpture for the Nelson Mandela School of Science and Technology in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, and sculptures for popular events such as the Boom Festival in Portugal and Rainbow Serpent Festival in Australia. 


Second Slideshow Photo: The towering installation, Ven a la Luz (Come into Light), was installed in Tulum, Mexico in 2018. Photograph by Phoebe Montague.