collaboration with Ralph Helmick
dimensions I: 5' h 38' w 38' d
dimensions II: 5' h 16' w 16' d
materials: cast resin, stainless cable
site: Stafford Creek Corrections Center, Aberdeen, WA
commissioned by: Washington State Arts Commission
The charged psychological environment of a state penitentiary informs the design evolution of this two-part suspended sculpture.
Migrations I is located in a large central room devoted to inmate visitation, religious services and staff training. In this setting over 400 suspended cast resin bird sculptures create a vast translucent array, inspired by the motion studies of Edward Muybridge. Made of translucent cast resin, they take full advantage of perimeter clerestory windows, which maximize available light in this Northwest setting. The castings gradually increase in size, resulting in an optical experience of false perspective, wherein smaller central birds appear more distant than the larger elements on the perimeter.
Radiating from the center of the ceiling, each quadrant contains an avian species indigenous to the region: peregrine falcon, herring gull, great horned owl and mallard duck. Each species is represented by multiples of ten sequential stages of flight.
Migrations II, a related satellite artwork, is located in the entrance to the corrections center, linked to the larger piece by qualities of translucence and brilliant color. Here over 100 amber birds mingle in a giant vortex marked by heterogeneity and rapidly changing scale.
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