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Old Pease Bay, Wind ESE, Flowing Tide

Cast and Laminated Glass
Largest 3.5”H x 15”W x 15”D
2009

Endless Variation


Titles are important to me. I think they offer an entry point into the artwork. In this case the titles imply the phenomenological quality of the work, in the sense that these static works hint at greater physical phenomena—the pull of the moon as tides, respiration of the planet as weather, and so on. The varying depth of the water in the Tidal series suggests the ebb and flow of a tide cycle. Unlike a portrait of a person in which we recognize something still (and posed), the concept of movement is embodied in these cast glass sculptures.

Slightly reminiscent of Roni Horn’s glass objects, the quadrants in Old Pease Bay, Wind ESE, Flowing Tide are more intimate than her monumental castings (or indeed the life-sized objects in the Blue Meridian series). These artworks incorporate the solidity of the sand beneath the water, resulting in unpredictable interactions between patterns—the ridges of sand, the ripples of the water’s surface, and the refraction of light through the glass. This interaction creates an interesting phenomenon where the objects change as you move through the space and around each sculpture. The distortions caused by refraction appear to make them flow, so walking around them brings the castings to life. The movement of the viewer imparts perceived movement to the sculptures, which reinforces the the title.

Although the patterns for both the sand and water surfaces are identical in all three pieces, the change in thickness of the glass (and the resulting change in refraction) renders each piece unique. I see this as a nod to the repetitive quality of daily life—the tides rise and fall endlessly, day after day—and yet we find the variations within that repetition. Are those variations merely an illusion? Or are the minutes of our live (like the tides) endless in their variety?

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