Client: Texas Organ Sharing Alliance
Location: San Antonio, TX, United States
Completion date: 2020
artist and art program manager
SABINE SENFT ART
Texas Organ Sharing Alliance
“IT’S ALL ABOUT CONNECTING” is a ceiling suspended art installation and a visual metaphor for life transformation and organ donation. The full ceiling height is 27′. The installation spans about 12 ‘ x 5’, and is made of powder coated aluminum, stainless steel and acrylic. This public artwork was commissioned by the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance for their headquarters in San Antonio, TX. TOSA is committed to saving lives through the power of organ donation. They connect donor families with recipient families.
The artwork goal was to create a site-specific sculptural installation that would thematically complement this mission and the existing architecture while exuding an uplifting yet calm balance that conveys hope. The piece sparks conversations and inspires and connects employees and visitors throughout their day at the office.
The creative process started with research on organ donation and what it means to the community. I researched organs, transformation and the science of life. The result was an artistic concept that was inspired by the butterfly life cycle.
The butterfly imagery stands for hope, the fragility of life and transformation, where one life form transforms into another through the stage of a chrysalis. It also refers to San Antonio’s location in the annual migration path of the Monarch butterfly.
Four suspended chrysalides swirl ever so gently moved by the airflow in the lobby. They are a tribute to the four founding medics who created TOSA. When the sun enters through the nearby windows, these chrysalides can cast a mesmerizing display of shadows on the walls. The complex structures allude to the complex nature of organ donation and the complex network behind it. The pattern of the chrysalides is reminiscent of the fascia tissue that envelopes and bonds organs together as a nod to the science behind organ donation – but also a reference to the connectedness and the bond established between each donor and recipient.
Eight colorful butterflies soar freely between these chrysalides, depicted by abstract butterfly wing forms in the shape of the infinity symbol … or a figure 8.
Eight stands for the number of lives one donor can save. These fluttering shapes have been fabricated of sturdy aluminum in direct juxtaposition to the fragile chrysalides that stand for the fragility of life. What connects the life cycle in these infinity butterfly shapes are stainless steel donor discs arranged in three different patterns. These discs have been taken from the Wall of Heroes in front of the TOSA building. The discs on the wall are engraved with each donor’s name, birthday and the day they gave their lives. In memoriam of those unrecognized donors, from 12 years where no records have been kept, we have incorporated unengraved donor discs into the soaring butterfly wings to give the families of these unsung heroes a place to visit and honor them. Every day as staff and visitors pass by and look up to the butterflies and the chrysalides under the 27’ ceiling, a donor is being honored and thought of, life is being appreciated and an inspiring daily connection made.