For more than a year, Barbara Tagami worked on folding origami fish.
Fold, fold, fold. Fold, fold, fold. Fold, fold, fold.
One fish. Two fish. Red fish. Blue fish. (Literally)
Three hundred fish later, Tagami strung them together in lines, using fishing filament and finishing them off with a lead sinker.
Those 300 fish are hanging in the eARTh exhibit area at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji, and if you look at the entire piece, a large fish comes into view, created from the small origami fish.
However, that is just one small part of Tagami’s exhibit, which is on display at the nature center through December. The exhibit also includes paintings made from earth pigments, fish prints, photography and pencil drawings --- all inspired by nature and using nature in the artistic process.
As a part of the exhibit, Tagami also taught an origami class and has a fish print class planned for adults 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19.
For $20, adults can try their hands at creating a fish priny. Simply call Tagami to pre-register.
Gyotaku is the name for the ancient Japanese practice of printing fish, and her heritage inspired Tagami to try the art form, as did her love of fishing.
“This was a way they could record the species of fish they caught and also the size of the fish,” she said. “Because I fish, I was just attracted to the idea of printing them.”
She thinks any adult that enjoys fishing would enjoy trying out this medium.
“If they catch a big fish, wouldn’t that be fun to put it on the wall?” Tagami said. “It’s a neat way to put your own art on the wall.”
Tagami loves all things nature and her art is inspired by everything around her. Rocks, sticks, fish --- she sees art everywhere.
“Art can be made from a lot of different things in nature. Nature creates such beautiful art, and that’s what has inspired a lot of my art,” she said, and she will talk about this subject during her exhibit reception Oct. 6. “I think what’s most important is people will say that they’re not an artist, but there’s art all around.”
She finds a sense of peace in nature and in using natural elements for artistic practices and hopes others can find that getaway as well.
“Art is a way of losing yourself in a peaceful place,” Tagami said. “There is so much in nature you can create with.”
Tagami adds that it’s hard to take a walk outdoors with her because she stops all the time to imagine ways to use whatever is lying on the ground. Her exhibit at the Dickinson County Nature Center will allow people to metaphorically take a walk with her as they experience all the inspiration found in simple items all around.