Blossom of Life (I think)

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Public Art Commission for Lower Columbia College new Health Science Building. Located in Longview WA. 2015
Size; 16’h x 14’w x 9’0″d , Materials: painted steel, aluminum, brass and UV stable resin plastic.

The sculpture, titled Blossom of Life (I Think), celebrates Longview’s growth from the surrounding forest and trees. Merging this tree origin with a new Health and Science building, we re-adapted the age-old Tree of Life metaphor found in mythology, theology, cosmology, philosophy and (most importantly to the new building) biology. Darwin sketched a series of lines that branch out, some terminating, some budding into full blossoms and wrote above these lines “I think”. Biologists since have drawn increasingly detailed trees (phylogenetic), hoping to further visualize the diverse and complex interdependence of life on earth.

Inspired by these scientific inquiries, examinations and drawings; Blossom of Life re-imagines the Tree of Life. Not as a tree’s trunk and branches but as its tips and blossoms; budding, vibrant, exuberant and temporal.

“As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications”- Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.

Blossom of life traces out life’s transformation from single-celled bacteria and archea to multi-celled plants and mammals. Its branches are hyperbolic, terminating in reflective nodes. Its blossoms become transparent overlapping species. Its colors reflect and mix.

By creating artwork for the LCC Health and Science building, it is our hope that budding scientists will be filled with curiosity and a bold spirit.

The Blossom is sited to engage with the buildings central interior vertical atrium and main stair case. Suspended from concrete floor beams the blossoms dangle down to just below the first floor offering glimpses of color and light as people arrive through the west entrance doors.

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