to the concept behind Ehlenberger's Venusian World, including the
Venusian Gardens and dioramas, is the modular system of interchangeable
components of the work. Ehlenberger's Venusian sculptures consist
of separate components that are interchangeable and therefore allow
for flexibility in design. The neon tubes are designed wireless and
are mounted in pyrex glass housings that enable each neon tube to
be easily replaced or exchanged within any Venusian sculpture or garden.
In addition, the glass components of the flowers are also interchangeable.
Finally, the bases that support the sculptures and gardens are designed
to allow for different components and/or configuration of components
so that each garden or component of a garden can be easily changed
without the need for tools or wiring. As such, one may "pick
a Venusian flower" in a garden and place it in a new and different
base thus allowing for personal customization of the sculpture.
There are several
components to each sculpture (see links below for images and more
detailed information). Essential to each is a base that houses the
neon transformer that powers the neon tube(s). The
bases are designed for individual or group display. Each base
has one or more pyrex glass housings for mounting the neon tubes.
Each pyrex housing has a brass spring that allows for wireless electrical
contact to the electrode of each neon tube
allowing for easy mounting of the neon tube without the need for wires
or tools. The sculpture bases are constructed of either wood (mahogany
or oak), ceramic, metal and/or acrylic. Some bases are designed for
indoor and outdoor use, some for hidden installation under rocks and
others with specific aesthetic attributes for a variety of applications.
Also essential to each sculpture of course are the neon tubes. The
neon tubes vary in size, shape and length but for the most part are
interchangeable within each sculpture, allowing for obvious physical
limitations. Some bases, however, are designed to handle less number
or overall length of neon tubes than others.
While some sculptures are designed to consist only of a base and one
or more neon tubes, many are designed to include additional components,
especially glass, to further develop the style of the sculpture. Usually
these glass components are mounted directly over the pyrex housings
that hold the neon tubes thus creating the image of the neon tube
emerging from the glass form. Generally speaking, the forms and shapes
of the glass components serve to define the sculptures, i.e. Venusian
Swamp Flowers and Venusian
Swamp Lotuses etc. However, the choices of bases, glass forms
and neon tubes offer a variety of combination options leading to many
manifestations for a particular sculpture.
In addition to elements such as the glass forms designed to directly
interact with the neon tubes, there are also other elements incorporated
into some of the sculptures including "Venusian
Ice Rocks", "Venusian
Bog Grass" as well as other elements of cast glass, wood
One particularly unique element in Ehlenberger's Venusian World is
the use of uranium glass
in some of the sculpture. Uranium glass is unique in its ability to
fluoresce when exposed to blacklight. Incorporated into some of the
sculptures are blacklight LEDs and blacklight neon tubes that provide
subtle illumination of the uranium glass stimulating its characteristic
fluorescent glow. The result is that the uranium glass glow provides
a beautiful yet subtle luminous element in Ehlenberger's Venusian