Boston’s bunny population – which Metro last week dubbed the city’s cutest infestation – is continuing its takeover this week on the Seaport’s Lawn on D. This time, though, the critters are of the 20-foot-tall and inflatable variety.
A pack of glowing, air-filled rabbits are set to be erected on the Lawn Thursday as part of the space’s latest art installation.
The piece, one of three identical works called “Intrude,” by Australian artist Amanda Parer, has been featured in venues around the world. They will debut Thursday night, their first-ever appearance in North America.
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The bunnies, while huge, odd and humorous, are also a commentary on humans’ impact on their environment, Parer said. Bunnies are an invasive species in her native Australia, and since settlers brought them to the country they have had a negative impact on the habitat of native animals like the country’s iconic koalas and kangaroos.
“They’re just everywhere,” Parer said.
Many of her works feature animals – largely bunnies, but also deer and pigs – standing in landscapes or wearing suits and ties.
“I focus on the rabbit,” she said. “I like to play with the symbol of what the rabbit means for most people: they’re cute and they have childhood stories. I’d like to use that as a hook into the more serious things in the work.”
Despite their size, the bunnies fold up into two pallets and travel easily, Parer said. Three identical sets have journeyed around the globe, stopping in at the Vivid Light, Music & Ideas Festival in Sydney, the Ghent Light Festival in Belgium and at the surrealist Parisian home of Slava Polunin, the famous Russian clown.
Everywhere she goes, Parer said, interactivity is a major component of “Intrude.” Observers at the installations are invited to walk around and touch the inflatables, pose next to them or relax nearby.
Worldwide, the eye-catching display has made a big splash, Parer said. During an exhibition in Sydney, she said, she found a group performing a Japanese tea ceremony between one rabbit’s giant white paws.
“They said it was a very peaceful place to be,” she said.
The installation is part of the D Street ArtLAB’s “WonderLAND,” which has been generating buzz in the city with its Instagram-ready sculptures and interactive elements. Among offerings is an array of ride-able luminous rings called “Swing Time 2.0” by Eric Howeler and J. Meejin Yoon.
"WonderLAND," said ArtLAB curator Kate Gilbert, is a chance to offer citygoers a unique experience.
"It's an experiment in understanding what the public wants and what I think the public needs," Gilbert told Metro. "It's to help peopel really just have fun in a public space and use the visual aspect of art to try something new, and think about life and art in Boston in a new way."
Kate Gilbert, the curator for The Lawn’s artLAB
A new group of works is set to debut on July 9 all at once. Check the Lawn on D website for more details.
Talk Art Thursday
Coinciding with the bunnies’ debut, a panel discussion is planned for the lawn 6-7 p.m. Thursday.
The topic is the “role of play” in art, and speakers include the creators making art happen in Boston, among them Amanda Parer, who designed “Intrude.”