Client: East West Partners
Location: Denver, CO, United States
Completion date: 2019
Artwork budget: $130,000
On-site Installation. Mesh of coloured elastic cords within structure / 27'-0″x 25'-0″x 10'-4″. Installed in the Coloradan Building in Denver, Corolla is inspired by the rich vastness of Colorado’s natural landscape. The site-specific installation re-envisions the Colorado State flower, the Colorado blue columbine, as a network of vibrantly colored threads that transition from warm pollen-like colors into cool color petals. By adapting and integrating within the existing architectural conditions, Corolla invites the viewer to explore visual perception through movement, shifting perspectives and color interplay using optical effects.
The integration is inherent to the piece. From a structural point of view, Corolla is suspended by a six-post cylindrical support with integrated angles forming attachments that are mounted in three places: the window frame of the building’s entrance, the mezzanine level guardrail and the double-height ceiling. The colored elastic cords are stretched and threaded through the powder coated perforated steel structure, dissolving into the architecture as hidden knots at the three points of attachment. The result is a vaulted apparition– a floating chandelier of string, color and light– which evolves from a tight, star-shape symmetry in the center, to asymmetrically twisting planes as it gets pulled towards the periphery, compelling even the busiest passerby to pause and look straight up. As with each of Esnal’s site-specific string pieces, Corolla too, seeks to generate a new space superimposed onto an existing one. The result of the interaction between the architectural space and the volume of the installation is an experience of changing dimensions that has the effect of placing the viewer outside the flow of everyday life.
The design of the artwork didn't change since the early proposal but after that it was a very collaborative project. The art consultant contacted us before the mixed-use block was even built so we had plenty of time. She was involved all through the process. We coordinated with the architect to integrate the string attachments into the architectural elements, worked on minimizing the structure with the engineers, and debated with the lighting consultant the best way to enhance the artwork. To make it real it was definitively a team effort.
Corolla was designed as a dynamic object meant to reflect the experience of multiple perspectives at once. Its many layered planes become more or less dense as one moves through the space, revealing a specific color or allowing several to blend by overlapping. Dense yellow hues intersect with orange-hued strings in the dome, whereas more sparsely concentrated greens and blues extend to the mezzanine and ceiling. The intricate and interwoven patterning, with varied densities of string and linear tension, produces numerous possibilities for optical play through geometric abstractions and color combinations.