Embrace is influenced by the Hero’s Journey, as described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces and other works:
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
According to Campbell, this pattern can be seen in many stories and myths from around the world, from ancient folk tales to modern films such as Star Wars. The Hero’s Journey can be seen as a metaphor for dealing with life-changing events. The trials and suffering can, in the best of cases, lead to growth and healing. Embrace is playful, but hints at the deeper experience available to those on the journey.
Circling around the piece are hundreds of creatures inspired by a three-year old’s drawings. Pulled along by the current of life, they cycle round and round, connecting, disconnecting, and competing with each other. Along their way they avoid two large monsters, which visitors control with large arcade-style buttons. The creatures’ attempts to escape the monsters make their route more complicated, transforming it into a kinked, knotted path. Now on this more challenging path, they are occasionally forced to confront the central monster. In so doing, they steal some of his fire and take it back to share with their fellow creatures, lighting their way.