Client: Sound Transit
Location: Seattle, WA, United States
Completion date: 2009
Artwork budget: $250,000
Victoria Fuller Studio
Art Castings of Illinois
Commissioned by Sound transit, in Seattle’s Rainer Valley, a 7.5'W x 12″D x 35 ft. H bronze sculpture of a giant garden shovel made from reporductions of plants, trees, and flowers, “Global Garden Shovel, sits in Edmonds Plaza, in the columia city neighborhood.
As a finalist, Victoria Fuller was asked to represent the different ethnic backgrounds of the residents of the Rainier valley in her sculpture design. On her visit to the area she found that even the homes with limited means had beautiful gardens. She decided to make a form that was at once an object used in gardening, that residents could relate to, and a compendium of plants from all over the world. The sculpture design places a familiar object in new context. it's 7 by 8 foot blade depicts horticulture from different regions of the world, representative of the diverse backgrounds of area residents, with plant reproductions on the shovel blade and up the handle of the shovel.
The final design was aproved by Sound transit in Seattle. Victoria Fuller, with intern assistants, created the large sculpture in wax. The sculpture was cut up into parts, and those parts were cast into bronze at Art Castings of Illinois, who welded the parts together and chased the welds. The final work was patinated by Art Castings, and was shipped by truck to Seattle where it was installed by Sound Transit.
This project took 3 years of hard work, with each plant accurately and lovingly depicted. Rare plants, such as Amorphophalous Titanum, native to Africa, are depicted, as well as tropical vegetation, such as pineapple, bird of paradise, and cacao. They are incorporated with plants and trees from northern climates such as hollyhocks, pears, and apples. Plants in our world bring beauty, joy, and more importantly sustain our planet with food, medicine, oxygen, and moisture. I wanted to make a monument about ethnic and geographic diversity, and the importance of nature for our environment and for our survival.