Art Imitation: An Eva Rothschild Inspired Sculpture

The latest iteration of the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Sightings series of architectural interventions by contemporary artists is up with a new installation by London-based artist Eva Rothschild.

For the Nasher, Rothschild has created an intricate network of black and brightly colored striped pipes which ramble through the museum’s entrance Bay.

The whimsical installation snakes up the walls, along the floor, and over and around admissions desks, stairs, and doorways, dipping down to the lower level, and wrapping underneath the bridge over the stairs (whew), all the while, encouraging little visitors to follow the work through the space.

I took my girlies last weekend and they were utterly and completely mesmerized. It’s good stuff.

Eva’s work was also the inspiration for the “Art Imitation” project in our first issue of D Moms. Our arts editor (and all around amazing mama) Lucia Simek gives us the step-by-step instructions, so you and your littles can make this Rothschild-inspired work of art at home.


  • 8–10 square dowel rods in varying widths (available in the moulding and trim aisle at Home Depot).
  • Rit fabric dye
  • Undyed cotton rope (available in the upholstery section at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft)
  • Black electrical tape
  • White electrical tape
  • Black spray paint
  • White spray paint


Prep — Arrange dowel rods on a drop cloth and spray paint half white, half black. Let dry.

Step 1 — After rods have dried, cut a small piece of electrical tape and wrap it around the rods sparingly, using white tape on the black rods and black tape on the white rods.

Step 2 — To dye rope, fill a stockpot with hot water and add fabric dye powder. (We used wine and purple to make a beautiful mauve, but you can use whatever color combos you prefer.) Over medium heat bring water to a simmer. Add rope to the dye and let stand for 15–30 minutes, or until rope is dyed to desired depth of color. Remove rope with tongs and hang-dry outside over a tarp or bowl.

Step 3 — To make your dowel rod structure, arrange the rods any way you like, using the electrical tape to fasten each intersection. We went with the teepee shape, gathering all the rods in a cluster at the top, which was easy and allowed for a stable, tabletop sculpture.

Step 4 — After the rope has dried, tape the end piece down and coil it over the taped intersections on your sculpture. Keep in mind that Rothschild always allows some rope to dangle or gather in a pile, which gives the piece an animated, visceral mood.


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