‘steel root’ sculptures dominate the landscape of the Botanical Garden of Naples | New



“When you step away from the roots and go on with your life, hopefully the next time you look at a tree your mind will travel underground and see things that are not readily apparent. We all have roots. We all have stories. We all have mysteries beneath the surface.~ Steve Tobin

The Botanical Garden of Naples presents the Steve Tobin: Nature Underground exhibition until September 6, 2021. Spectacular sculptures in steel and bronze are displayed throughout the garden evoking the theme of the power of the invisible.

As you enter the garden you are greeted by Tobin’s ‘dancing roots’ and as you walk you will discover 12 epic and challenging contemporary sculptures. Steve has created sculptures in glass, clay, bronze and steel.

For Tobin, he wanted to create sculptures of steel roots on a larger scale to show his respect for nature. His Steel Root series is inspired by the years he lived in Japan and his memory when he watched calligraphers draw.

The shapes of the drawings have a meaning. As Tobin shaped his sculptures, they became different parts of anatomy. For him, the root metaphor is connectivity and invisible power. A root presents a broad metaphor than any person in any culture; any period can make sense of it.

Imagine a wild South African fig tree with the deepest root system in existence – it spans 40 stories underground. At the Botanical Garden, it is a massive baobab tree, also native to South Africa with impressive roots and an incredible lifespan – around 3000 years. It is the power of the invisible.

Watching Steve’s Dancing Root series, depending on the angle of view, you will come out with different interpretations. The Root Sculptures represent the relationship of man to his environment and to those of the mind and body.

Depending on the time of day, shadows create an extra dimension to steel structures. It makes you think of the root system of many plants in the garden and in your own landscape and how they take up water and nutrients from the soil. The presence of Tobin’s sculpture changes the feel of the landscape and also the way we feel and think about the sculptures.

Just like the roots of a tree, the most important things aren’t always visually obvious. It’s not always about the shape, but how Root Sculptures make you feel.

Members and non-members require tickets on time, so please book online. They have touchless water bottle filling stations and hand sanitizer stations. Masks are required in specified areas as indicated by signage in accordance with existing garden safety guidelines and the Collier County mandate. The Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is suggested to bring an umbrella and a bottle of water. Take the time to sit down and admire the Steel Root Sculptures.

The Naples Botanical Garden is located at 4820 Bayshore Boulevard, Naples.


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