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An exhibition of Sculptural work by Daniel Popper

The Human Nature exhibit includes 5 sculptures commissioned by The Morton Arboretum:

Hallow | Sentient | Basilica | Heartwood | UMI 

The pieces were made from steel, fiberglass, wood, and natural fibers.

Creative Director / Lead Artist: Daniel Popper

Lead Structural Designer: Robert Bernicchi

Construction + Operations Manager: Samuel Murgatroyd
Production Manager: Riley Rae

Build Crew: Christian Breeden, Jordan Senzig, Valeria Maza Puente, Ashley Miller, Nicholas Raphael, Lucy Allen,

Alex Jeffrey, Vikki Enright, Jessica Eberlin, Blake Stewart

3D Team: Justin Fields (Sanctum Studios), Mike Mallian, Steve Teeps,

Elvi, Mohammed El Bouhy, Stan Brown, Quinton Blake, Elina Karimova


Photography: Jonx Pillemer

Glass fibre reinforced concrete, steel subframe, inner walls Bejuco vines from the Yucatan, 25ft

Steel roses created by Zachary Herberholz as part of the fundraiser "65 roses for cystic fibrosis"
Kindly donate to the cystic fibrosis foundation here

The first piece entitled "Hallow" Is the sister piece to "Thrive", which was installed in Fort Lauderdale in 2020. 


The pieces of the exhibit (Hallow, Sentient, and Basilica) intend to draw people's attention to the metaphysical relationship between all conscious beings. Hallow speaks to our inner nature. 

We are bound to thrive if we are brave enough to expose our true nature as well as open up and receive the gifts that nature has to offer. We will heal, we will grow and we will flourish if we open our hearts 

and simultaneously nurture our internal and external gardens. 

Glass fibre reinforced concrete, steel subframe, 18ft

"UMI" - Meaning Life in Swahili and Mother in Arabic.

The archetypal mother earth, who welcomes visitors into her womb, and a reminder of our connection to nature, and our responsibility to create, nurture and care for our environment. 

The Ancient Greeks believed that it was from the Earth Mother's fertile womb that all life came and that all living things must return to Mother Earth after their designated life span is over. This personifies the earth’s entire ecosystem, always working to bring and maintain the harmony, wholeness and balance which is required for the planet to successfully function.



Hydro dipped fibreglass, Steel subframe, plywood

 A being sensitive in perception or feeling.

There is no denying how easy it is to be distracted in today's world.  over exposure to Phones, media, news blasting at us , fragmenting us, dislocating us from our selves and the world around us. 


The daily digital dementia leads to a scrambling of our senses. 


This piece for me speaks to a return to stillness  . For me being and connecting with Nature and meditation are essential in finding my center in the chaos. 

And the awareness that there is no seperation between us and nature . 


"In going out I found was really going in." John Muir

Glass fibre reinforced concrete, steel subframe, 18ft

The Heartwood is the dense inner collection of rings which lie in the center of a tree trunk . The spine or central pillar of the tree, mechanically stong, and resistant to decay . It's rings allude to the trees unique history and identity. 


The rhythmic formation of the Heartwood depicted on the figures  left inner side is paralleled to our thumbprint-depicted on the figures right inner side. 


When walking through this figure. Contemplate your history, your lineage your identity all the way back to nature. Enduring, resilient and complex, with a courageous story to tell.

1st quick select-6.jpg

Glass fibre reinforced concrete, steel subframe, 30ftx30ft

The word basilica is derived from a Greek term meaning royal house.

Basilicas are traditionally named because of their antiquity, dignity, historical value, architectural and artistic worth

and/or significance as centers of worship. 


I set out to create a gathering space. A space to be held by nature . The hands indicate nature simultaneously welcoming us in while at the same time reaching out for us.


The roots resemble arteries and veins. A nutrient system transferring energy.  


Viewers Entering the hands and interacting with the space are engaged with the concept of the inner and the outer landscapes within which we live, and the connections between them. To look for diversity, interconnectedness and flows of nourishment in the system of which we call life.

To those who are interested in going deeper into our creative processes around design, engineering and installations please come and join our Patreon site, as over the next few weeks and months, we will take you deeper behind the scenes into the processes that make these works come to life. 

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