Giant Bunnies Invade H-Town

Giant 40-foot bunnies invade downtown Houston — and it's all for art's sake

Giant 40-foot bunnies invade downtown Houston — all for art's sake

Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Bunny gets a look at downtown Houston. Photo by Arts Brookfield
Ted Zwieg, Debra Simon, Terri Diraddo, David Robinson at Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
From left, Ted Zwieg, Debra Simon, Terri Dirraddo and David Robinson get in the hoppy spirit. Photo by Arts Brookfield
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
One bunny takes shape at the Intrude art installation at 1600 Smith in downtown Houston. Photo by Arts Brookfield
Moodafaruka plays at Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Moodafaruka set the scene for the launch of the Intrude installation at 1600 Smith. Photo by Arts Brookfield
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
The bunnies will be on display through Saturday, May 14. Photo by Arts Brookfield
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
At least one bunny came to life despite high winds on Monday. Photo by Arts Brookfield
Amanda Parer artist Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Artist Amanda Parer and one of her bunnies in a file photo. Courtesy photo
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Bunnies on display at a previous installation. Courtesy photo
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Giant bunnies are coming to downtown Houston this week. Courtesy photo
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Bunnies enjoy the great outdoors. Courtesy photo
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Ted Zwieg, Debra Simon, Terri Diraddo, David Robinson at Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Moodafaruka plays at Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Amanda Parer artist Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith
Bunnies Intrude art installation 1600 Smith

A dreary Monday morning turned sunnier in downtown Houston as an acclaimed public art installation by Australian artist Amanda Parer emerged on the lawn in front of the 1600 Smith Street skyscraper.

Titled Intrude, the installation features monumental sculptural rabbits, each sewn in white nylon, inflated and internally lit. Once the Houston exhibit is completed, it will include five original bunny sculptures and two giant rabbits, each rising more than two-stories in height, which were commissioned by Arts Brookfield, the cultural arm of the global real estate corporation.

Due to heavy winds, only two bunnies could be inflated on Monday during a ceremony attended by such notables as Houston City Council member David W. Robinson, Arts Brookfield vice president and artistic director Debra Simon, Brookfield vp of operations Ted Zwieg, and Brookfield manager of arts and events Terri Diraddo — all wearing bunny glasses for the occasion.

Organizers are hopeful the other rabbits can rise on Tuesday. The bunnies, part of a four-city national tour and free exhibition, will be in Houston May 9-14. The bunnies will be inflated daily at 11 am and are on display until 9 pm during their stay.

In the exhibit, Parer examines the duality of the large rabbits, which appear soft and cuddly, but in her native Australia are considered out-of-control pests that leave a trail of ecological destruction and defy all attempts at eradication.

"They represent the fairytale animals from our childhood – a furry innocence, frolicking through idyllic fields," Parer says on her website. "Intrude deliberately evokes this cutesy image, and a strong visual humor, to lure you into the artwork only to reveal the more serious environmental messages in the work. They are huge, the size referencing 'the elephant in the room,' the problem, like our environmental impact, big but easily ignored."