"Infinitus" was designed as a memorial tribute to Gordon Church - a Vietnam Veteran - linguist and former Director of the Albuquerque Public Art Program. The sculptural bench - commissioned by the Albuquerque Public Art Program - was intended for the New Mexico Veteran's Memorial Building which Gordon helped to develop. The steel and custom ceramic mosaic bench is accompanied by a cloud mural. The cloud image was taken from an original painting by Scott Greene then printed onto vinyl and applied to the wall. The text in the painting is from Gordon's Vietnam journal.
The main goal for this memorial project was to represent the creative and energetic spirit of Gordon in the sculptural bench and cloud mural. Gordon was a unique man - he was an avid Sufi dancer and he believed that his spirit symbols were a stag in the winter and a lizard in the summer. I used those images in the custom ceramic mosaic seats contrasting the warm and cool colors and the winding spirals within the infinity symbol shaped bench. I envisioned the bench to be participatory - as one sits in the front of the bench with a friend sitting in the back they need to twist slightly in order to face each other. Twisting at their core like the Sufi dancers. The cloud mural with text was added to the original commission to create more of a site for the bench installation as space in the Museum is limited. I collaborated with artist Scott Greene on the cloud painting which when completed was digitally scanned and text from Gordon's Vietnam journal was overlaid. The image was then printed on vinyl and applied to the wall behind the bench.
To create a successful memorial tribute for Gordon it was imperative that I interview his various friends. The information proved invaluable as it lead me to the use of the stag and lizard symbol and the gestural bench design. The original commission was for a bench only but I spoke with the Director of the Albuquerque Public Art program about additional funds for the cloud mural behind the bench. She agreed knowing that the mural would enhance the site and provide more of a tribute for a the well respected man. The collaboration with painter Scott Greene was wonderful as he is a painter that Gordon admired and a friend. We discussed the cloud composition and its relationship to the sculptural bench. Scott also helped me to figure out the text overlay and coordinate the printing on vinyl. I also worked closely with the steel fabricator - Ferrall Clem - Custom Wrought Iron and Welding on creating the dynamic infinity shaped bench. All of the tile for the bench was custom cut from templates and hand painted and glazed. I was assisted by artist Cate Erbaugh on the fabrication of the tile and assembly of the mosaic.
Scale for bench: 44" x 36" x 50" Scale for wall mural: 5' x 10'
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