Client: Bonnaroo Arts Fund, Nashville's Arts at the Airport
Location: Nashville, TN, United States
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $4,500
The Artist Call was to illustrate the Bonnaroo Music Festival in one of four skylights at the Nashville International Airport using one of the Bonnaroovian Codes of Conduct as a theme. It had to weigh under 300 pounds and be able to withstand high temperatures for 13 months on display. I choose the iconic Bonnaroo arch and the “Play as a Team” motto. The mobile is 24 feet x 8 feet x 8 inches and has 207 colorful figures are arranged in 26 vertical rows suspended from 1/16” aircraft cable from a 24 ft long 1” aluminum pole.
The goals were to have the installation weigh under 300 pounds and be able to withstand high temperatures for 13 months on display. By using 1 inch insulation foam board and applying 4 coats of outdoor paint I was able to stabilize the UV requirement. My personal goal was integrating the design of a playful figure in a kenetic mobile. As well as being a professional artist I have a 30 plus year career as an advertising creative director. I have developed multiple design sets of repeat figures that I am challenging myself to use in my work.
Through this project I came to learn the value of having a team. I solicited the services of theatrical stage design professional, Madge Darlington, who has 30 years experience in her field and is also my sister. I relied on Madge to determine the weight of the aircraft cable as well as suspension safety and aesthetics. The success of this project came in large part from Mary Grissim, the lead art consultant on this project. With her organizational skills this was a smooth operation especially given the fact that this installation is in the well protected environment of an airport.
Moving forward I will always give credence to serendipity. On the schematics the mobile was all about straight lines. At installation the pole bent at the very end. It was an 'aha' moment for all of us. The bend did not occur until we placed the 25th and 26th rows of figures. After stabilizing the pole we all agreed that the slight bend in the pole gave the mobile its sex appeal and an aerodynamic quality that otherwise would of been lost.