Reflections Remembered is installed in Christ the King Mausoleum in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside, Illinois. Two buildings form a squared “C” connected by a vestibule, each with an interior space of approximately 132' long x 12' wide x 20' high. Twelve abstractly designed panels separate three mobiles throughout each of the atrium spaces. The design repeats while the spectrum of color, in effortless association, moves down the long corridors, lifting the eye ever upward.
A holistic whole, the blending of elements, was a foremost consideration for the integration of commissioned artwork in this space. The goal was to uplift the spirit in a visual sense and provide visitors with an enhanced environment to visit their deceased loved ones. Part of that goal involved incorporating religious symbols that invite reflection without being too literal. Abstract designs were blended with Christian symbols suggesting an awareness of the obvious in the midst of a more elusive presence. The function of this project involved enhancing the monochromatic color scheme of the mausoleums’ interior which is mostly marble and concrete, with metal railing throughout. The integration of fabric, color and thoughtful design complemented the neutral, stark interior.
The collaboration process included the artist/designer, cemetery director, various office personnel and the building engineer. The initial proposal included a formal presentation to the Cemetery Board's eight individuals showing concepts and ideas of the proposed design solutions. Two design concepts were presented with the assumption that one would be chosen. Both designs were equally well received and it was decided that both would be created, one for each building. Secondary presentation included fabric models created to show the light capturing quality of the fabric, a floor plan indicating scope and placement of the proposed pieces, and digital photographs with designs imposed to help visualize the panels in the space by clearly defining the final product in a way everyone could understand. Discussions with the building engineer were important as the installation date approached. The director was advised of project's progress along the way.
This project is special in that the client was receptive to both designs that were presented for the single panels. Ultimately, both designs were fabricated and allow the connecting buildings to each have their own identity while functioning as a complete creation. The Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries was very pleased as his long awaited vision of adding warmth and a sense of joy to these areas was brought to fruition.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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