If you build it, they will come. That is exactly what happened when Canadian textile artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam created her brightly coloured playscape, a mesmerizing magnet for children to climb, bounce, and swing on. The Rainbow Net, located in Sapporo, Japan, is an innovative project that took three years to complete, giant crocheted medallions connect together to form a bowl-shaped trampoline, accented with teardrop shaped tubes that dangle like earrings. The spark for this brilliant idea came to Toshiko in an art gallery where her over-sized crocheted sculpture, Multiple Hammock No. 1, was on display. She was approached by two children who asked if they could perhaps climb up and play on it. As she watched nervously, the kids were grabbing on to the netting as if it were made for little hands to grip, with squeals of delight, the structure seemed to take on a life of its own, stretching and twisting in new directions.
Not just ‘public art’, this tactile installation encourages play and exercise in children.
Thousands of spools of heavyweight nylon cord were used for durability and colourful appeal.
The artist, Toshiko, assembled the pieces by hand on site, working on her knees up to ten hours a day on this project. Similar installations have also been completed in Spain, Singapore, and Shanghai.