Dazzle, 2014

Emeryville, CA

Dazzle is inspired by the patterns painted on ships during WWI and II to camouflage their distance, speed, and direction on the water.  The Bay Area was home to naval bases so this work references this local history as well as the fractured patterns of light on water.  By painting the massive columns they are more visible yet simultaneously dematerialized.  On each ‘dazzled’ column are one or two lines of stainless steel “leaves” that respond to the wind and light to animate the space in responsive and surprising ways.  The eye is caught up in the energy of the patterns and movement of the stainless steel ‘leaves’ making it a destination and lynchpin between the Public Market and Bay St.  

At night the florescent blue paint and reflective yellow paint of Dazzle completely transform the visual experience: headlights from cars reflect off the yellow as they pass through, while invisible black lights scattered throughout the space make the blue areas iridescent.

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Dazzle, 2014 description
© Catherine Widgery