And lots of them.
Many of her balls are colorful old bowling balls which carry along the patina of age. To install some of the outside ones, she simply places a little rebar stick into the ground, and into the thumb hole of the ball. She judges the length of the rebar to make them hover, and in this case, above the grass on Isa’s island. Isa the greyhound used to make a bald spot in the middle of this island as she was master of this domain. Kind of like the Little Prince on his planet, I always thought. Isa is gone now, but the balls keep her memory on the island.
Bev-lee is old enough to have established her style. Some never do, but she has loved orbs as long as I can remember. She used to have an admirable glass office with her big job, and you could see the balls all through the adjoining work space. Having an even bigger job now, she works from home and all those balls are in the home office.
They hail from all over the world, and they are not just decorative. These icons of hers run much deeper than just objects to collect (although there is much merit in simple collections).
Balls are Bev-lee’s visual language. They integrate all the rooms of her house visually, and the balls on the inside and the balls on the outside claim the same nationality. They are visual team players.
You have already seen outside balls and inside balls, but these balls also do jobs. This is why we know that balls are far beyond a collection. They solve problems, they create compositions, they move. I told you Bev-lee had balls.
Does your Mother-in-Law Tongue droop over the edge of its pot? Use balls to keep it in place.
Need a dust ruffle for your bed? Why not use balls?
Blank space under a tall table? Fill it with balls and play with interesting texture contrast as well. All good.
EVERYTHING is a composition. The entire interior of this house is connected visually by repeated orbs. All the rooms make sense together. And this repetition is really important outside the house; in the front and back.
The idea of balls is introduced to the viewer at the entry of the house. Here the red annuals were selected to repeat the beautiful red bowling ball. So now you know what you are in for in the back of the house. Welcome to ball world!
Bev-lee has been working on a couple of ponds for many years, and creating the landscape around them. It was many years ago, hotter than hell, when we were racing around the city doing what we do when we get together. The “Waste as a Way of Life” world joins the orb patrol for a couple of days. We saw that some enormous bushes were being fairly ripped out of the gardens of a shopping center. The bushes themselves plus the root balls probably stood five feet high. We asked about the future of the bushes; they had none. Bev-lee talked the workers into bringing the enormous things, maybe eight, to her house, and then muscle them into the back yard. She tipped them well. We dribbled water on those big boys for a couple of days until she could get them planted. It is shocking how many survived; I swear it was 100 that day.
Above is one of those bushes, probably four feet high and wide now, and below is its context. It is part of the landscape of the upper pond.
There is a footpath between the two ponds.
And the lower pond.
Form plus function is the best, anyone will tell you. This is what is so marvelous about Bev-lee’s universe. She wondered how to keep the netting that holds leaves out of the ponds in place for the winter months. Her solution is brilliant. She puts a big exercise ball in each pond in the middle. On the edges, smaller balls secured from bins at Target. After the nets are installed, the balls don’t move, and the leaves are excluded. And her orb fetish is intact!
It gets better. For two years she has not removed the balls at all when not needed in winter. She chose their colors appropriately in the first place, they are lovely as the little waterfall moves them around the lower pond (movement is a great attribute for a composition) and she has not had a fish taken by predators since she decided to leave them. Trifecta!
Bev-lee has balls.