dimensions: 13’ h 20’ w 60’ l
materials: cast pewter, printed polyester, stainless cable
site: McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, NV
commissioned by: Clark County Department of Aviation

Nevada has a unique topography defined by faulted mountain chains and flat valleys. Clarence Dutton (geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey) described the terrain as “an army of caterpillars marching toward Mexico”. From the spectral colors found in this Nevada landscape these ‘caterpillars’ must have produced the incredible diversity of Lepidoptera found in the region.

Nevada is a crossroads for traveling about the south west. The interstates that cut through the deserts today are the same routes native Americans used for seasonal migrations and trading and wagon trains then the automobile followed in the early days of the modern settler. McCarran Airport is another focal point of migration. In a matter of hours you can enter or leave Nevada from anywhere in the world.

Mirare - to look at thoughtfully; to wonder at.

In Mirare we see two airplanes. The lead plane is ghost like - A rabble of butterflies native to Nevada. They swirl, hover and dive as if they are starlings getting ready for winter. The following plane is solid - A rabble of butterflies displaying tail colors from visiting aircraft at McCarran International Airport. Mirare speaks to the natural instinct for migration. Here we juxtapose the fantastic migration of butterflies with the human urge to travel. The artwork is fabricated from almost 3000 small butterfly sculptures suspended by almost 2400 fine stainless steel wires.

Installation Slideshow

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Photos by Cheryl Clegg

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