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Blue Meridian: 81.2ºW, Old Isaac’s

Cast, Blasted & Polished Glass
36”H x 15”W x 4”D
2009. (Permanent Collection: National Gallery of the Cayman Islands)

A Referent of Place.

Cast glass water sculptures.

The Blue Meridian series was inspired by the particularity of the water from locations found within the territorial waters of my homeland, the Cayman Islands. Specificity is important to this series. Since the sculptures have been transplanted, as it were, from their original context to that of the gallery floor, it was important to me to anchor each artwork to its referent. Each location is referenced by the longitudinal coordinates in the title, thus underscoring the displaced nature of these cast glass place studies. I feel this invites the viewer to imagine water from other places they have been—perhaps on a cruise, honeymoon or childhood vacation.

The lack of any base or plinth reinforces the bifurcated nature of the sculpture’s presence. As Rosalind Krauss writes, the monument is “generalized to the binary of a representation anchored to its site by a pedestal that both elevates the sculptural likeness above the ground and anchors it to that place, as if ‘imaging forth’ its very situation. As it doubles back to absorb this place, what the monument represents is the significance of the exact location for the inhabitants.”

By contrast, these glass sculptures are removed from the place they represent. By sitting directly on the floor they lack an obvious permanence to their placement and we encounter them at the same height we would if actually wading in the marine environment they represent. At roughly a meter tall Blue Meridian: 81.2º West, Old Isaac’s is most successful at establishing this sense of presence and thereby prompting the imaginings of the viewer.

The work is currently on permanent display at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.