Read Them Like a Book
Imagine two polished stainless steel human-shaped figures; side by side, faces turned skyward.
The figures stand upon a pedestal rising approximately 24” above grade. Combining the figure height of approximately 10 feet with that of the pedestal, the overall height will be nearly 12 feet.
The Sun and the Moon shine reflectively off the surfaces suggesting one form of enlightenment or illumination.
The figures; as viewed from directly in front of the new St. Charles Public Library sign, appear as two parallel lines in the landscape. As the viewer moves around the library grounds, the parallel lines are revealed to be human shapes with words, numbers and symbols cut out from the interior sections of the figures. The interplay between the various cut out shapes, the ever-changing surroundings; owing in large part to seasonal variations, will provide the viewer a new perspective and viewpoint each time the figures are encountered.
The words are in several languages and character fonts. In translation, the various languages provide further insight into the extended metaphor of enlightenment. There may also be for the viewer some humor available either thinly veiled, disguised or nearly impossible to avoid.
Placement of the piece within the Euonymus helps to minimize the possibility of children climbing upon the sculpture. Given the pedestal height and figure height they will not be anonymous in the Euonymus.
A Hand in It
The goal of the art glass project for the New Lenox Library as defined by the architect, Michael Mackey of Burnidge Cassell & Associates was to graphically depict the “Evolution of Information”; information from the earliest times in human history through the more recent past and on into the future.
The project began with several trips to my own public library. Many books would ultimately be reviewed and researched to provide a starting point. Given the scope of the project and the abundance of images available, it was necessary to establish a selection process that would guide me through the composition. Admittedly many images could have been used and perhaps some that were omitted may have been better. It ultimately comes down to a choice and trust in one’s own vision.
This was early 2001, and a new tool for me, the Internet, became an essential part of the process. The ability to instantaneously communicate with people throughout the world compressed time. I had the ability to secure the rights to the images and in many cases obtain the highest quality photograph transparencies with almost instant results. The compression of time is evident not only in the piece itself but very much a part of its creation.
Many “hands” contributed to the overall success of this piece. The artists who originally conceived of, carved, painted, drew, engineered, and shared their work are represented in the various images. The people who contributed images, expertise, and effort are all important hands.
It was a very interesting and rewarding journey. It was a pleasure to have had a hand in it.
Click above to view a larger key to images...
Here’s Proof, an intentional glass fusion triptych, was part of a branding initiative for British Petroleum based in Warrenville, Illinois at the time.
The images selected for inclusion in this piece are representative of the many separate business units within BP’s corporate architecture.
May you find within the boundaries of this glass fusion triptych a certain currency of knowledge, a spirit of consilience as well as a carefully constructed allegory.
Our relationships to people, objects, events and the unknowable future may provide the impetus for constructive change. All the images are of real things, unaltered, yet illusory. Perhaps you will find a way to what is real through the examination of illusion.
The three panels of fused glass measure 12 feet across and 13 feet high.
The faces depicted above are of dear friends and family who very kindly agreed to be part of this work.
Thank you all again!
This piece is currently located in the BP offices downtown Chicago.