Client: University of Central Florida, Orlando
Location: Orlando, FL, United States
Completion date: 2011
Core to the Recreation and Wellness Center is health through focused physical activity. In its simplest form, the key to this endeavor is concentrated focused energy.
The arcing movement of stones and steel within the composition of this sculpture is an abstract metaphor of controlled, concentrated, and focused energy.
The mental and psychological processes that an individual undergoes when they encounter and overcome physical exertions heighten an athlete’s psychological state through intense exertion. Here a passage is made. I view the framework that surrounds the composition as a door or gateway. The intended metaphor is the passage of one psychological state to another. The forms of the sculpture are moving into and through that framework.
The title, “Hermes Gate” refers to Hermes the messenger of the gods in Greek Mythology. Hermes could travel between the world and the heavens or the known and the unknown, from the physical to the psyche.
The form of the overall piece is set on an arc that mimics the arc of the façade of the building in the immediate background. The entire piece is framed by steel that is both compositional and structural to the form. This framing mimics the verticality of the surrounding palm trees. It also increases the visual size and presence of the composition while supporting a gold-leafed stone.
The limestone portions of the composition include both cut and broken surfaces that emphasize the unique textures of the material. Portions of the cut surfaces are carved with repetitive patterns that are also compositional elements of the piece.
Some of the carved linear elements follow through from stone to stone and compliment the movement of the overall sculpture further energizing the composition.
The creation of this project required the focused dedication of three primary assistants, Jason Bord, Martin Beach, and Braze T. Smith. Beyond their invaluable help Powder Pro of Mooresville Indiana did the powder coating.
The stone for this project was cut into rectangular slab sizes in a local stone mill and delivered to my studio. The majority of the fabrication of the sculpture took place at my studio where I have the space, workforce, and equipment required to build the piece. Some of the steel elements were cut in a local fabrication shop that I frequently use. All interconnected pieces were assembled in their entirety in my studio in order to ensure that all fittings and relationships are correct. The completed pieces were shipped to the site via Stone Belt Shipping Lines.
On-site the pieces were assembled and adhered to cast cement footings.