Designed for the Oregon State Hospital in Junction City, a psychiatric hospital, Passing Storms portrays the changing weather as metaphor for unpredictable and shifting states of mind. There are two parts: Rain and Cloud.
When the viewer looks at Rain out over Prairie Quad, there appears to be a storm of silver rain moving through the space, glittering bits catch the light animated by the wind.
Cloud is a shape-shifting form deconstructed into a series of profiles that define its outer surface with the edges and planes catching the different light qualities of day and night.
The architecture of the hospital is quite severe with virtually no visible ornamentation to soften the hard geometry of the buildings.
My hope was to create organic form woven into the spaces and the planes of the architecture as if the wind, rain and clouds had been caught in the courtyards. The most important goal was to provide patients at the hospital with an experience that was always changing and interesting, both from inside the rooms looking out onto the open spaces and from within the courtyards themselves.
The patients couldn’t physically interact with the works so it is light and wind that animate and interact to create a visual experience that is meditative and essentially calming. Storms, clouds and rain had more resonance for the patients who considered these works than a more conventional idea of what would be “cheerful”.
Their enthusiasm for Passing Storms was an important component in getting all the parties to agree to do them.
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