Client: Veterans Administration
Location: Austin, TX, United States
Completion date: 2013
Artwork budget: $170,000
Page Southerland Page
Art + Artisans
Daniel Goldstein Studio
The giant spirals echo the rolling energy of ocean waves. There is a strong and positive feeling of forward movement and just as waves in nature roll back into their source, so each spiral in this sculpture mimics that return of energy. This illustrates the idea that in a community of people who have shared similar life experiences, there is a synergy, a collective understanding that can create strength in numbers, binding a community together.
2.) The lobby of this medical center is vast. Although there is much open space, the ceilings are only 29’ high, requiring that the sculpture be large enough to be in proportion to the space, but not so large that it bears down upon the visitor walking below it. The lobby is entirely composed of right angles. Therefore I felt a need to introduce gentle curves and rounded lines to balance out the strong linearity of the room. This is a place of healing and care. Curved lines are organic and humanizing. I knew the sculpture would be a key component in insuring a sense of welcome. The sculpture takes on different identities from different vantage points. From out side the building one can see the entire side-view of the sculpture through the large glass façade. The viewer will experience the rhythm and elegance of the waves as unified whole. On entering the lobby one first sees the origination point of the waves. On walking further into the lobby one experiences the expansiveness and interweaving of the various waves. From the second floor waiting area only the crests of the waves are visible.
The architects on this job were extremely helpful and excellent collaborators. My team and I worked through several iterations of the design with the lead architect. Their suggestions were invaluable in coming to a final design that worked in accord with the overall architecture.
The overall design of this piece is based on the form that is created by a pair of arms that have reached out with curved hands as if to hold something and are then drawn in towards the body- this is the physical act of “gathering”. This in essence is the function of this veterans’ clinic: to gather in members of this community and to care for their needs