Slivers of Light, Proposal 2016
Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis MN
The hospital is like a body: air flowing through ducts, water flowing through pipes, electrical current flowing through wires, the bones of the structure in concrete and metal, the skin of glass and sheet metal. The staff, patients and visitors bring the body to life as these physical systems support the living organism of the hospital. The role of the art is to be the embodiment of the spirit or soul of this place.
Slivers of Light is inspired by Laurie Allmann’s poem The Color of a River; an excerpt is below:
that rosy coral of a
native brook trout’s belly band,
thin sliver of life held gently
in a hand….
The form of the sculpture is the spiral structure that underlies all living organisms and energy systems, from the scale of the galaxies to our DNA. Our bones and circulatory system are spiral structures. Fluid moves in swirling spirals whether in our bodies, rivers or glass of water. The sculptural forms spiral through the structure of the building, flowing like a river or the blood through our veins, glittering the way light sparkles off the surface of water or like the particles of nutrients or oxygen that flows through our circulatory system.
During the day, the dichroic glass elements on the spiral lines of aluminum tubing reflect the changing light outside to sparkle as if alive because the movement of the viewers will mean that different angles of glass are catching the light at different times. At night the lights in the hospital will shine through the art so the rich colors are visible. By contrast, inside during the day the light outside will mean the dichroic is backlit so the rich colors appear and at night, interior lights will reflect off of the mirror surfaces through a veil of color. The nature of dichroic glass is such that bounced bits of color and light and projected color will activate the space in magical ways. Our hope is that patients will come to this area to experience the wonder of the light and color in the space, always changing, never the same. They will come alive to their surroundings and world again.