Resilience

Submitted by Deedee Morrison

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Client: ARISE Janesville - Forward Foundation

Location: Janesville, WI, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $1,250,000

Project Team

Fabrication

Jon Helt

Springfield Welding

Bridge Deck Boulders & Seating

Nick Schueller

Cold Spring USA

Project Manager

Tim Weber

Weber Co.

Acid Etched Stainless Steel Tables and Chairs

Kyle Rebechini

RSI Design

Bridge Sculpture Glass

Charles Hansen

J C Moag

Donor Wall Glass

James Cole

Agnora Glass

LED Lighting, Sound System

Matt Bouck

Martin Lighting - Vision 2 Marketing

Overview

The heart of the Resilience project is simply to re-engage the community with the wonder and majesty of place. To sit alongside the river and enjoy a beautiful day perched on a boulder overlooking the Town Square. Or take a walk across the bridge and explore a full moon under the sculptural branches. The pedestrian bridge and sculpture honor Janesville’s history (agriculture, industry, merchant, etc) – without regard to its politics. Janesville’s story begins with the creation and evolution of place. The regional stone, left behind after the last glacial retreat, anchors the East and West entrances to the bridge.  Wisconsin’s rich fertile soil and the Rock River are remnants of this retreat and ultimately what brought people into the region for millennials. 

The bridge deck seating elements meander for the pedestrian like boulders being tumbled downstream – with organic shapes in wood and stainless steel. In the middle of the bridge is the unification of the East and West sides of the river. The design intent is to create a dynamic space influenced by the natural environment of Janesville in a way that connects people with the importance of their natural world in their community.

Goals

Deedee Morrison is a public artist working at the forefront of transforming urban landscapes into dynamic and memorable public spaces. With public art, our communities have the ability to transcend language, impact emotion, conceptual thought, and contribute to an informed public landscape. Bridging the fields of history, biogeography and art, Morrison’s sculptural forms weave together elements of creativity, geology, natural history, and technology to uniquely craft a story of place and home.

Arise Now’s public art collaboration with Morrison is a striking symbol of resilience to the challenges facing many communities in America today to survive, adapt, and grow. The Resilience public art project reframes the Rock River as a treasured community asset. Formerly viewed as the backdrop to the city, the Janesville’s riverfront can now be embraced as the inspiration for unity along the East and West banks, attained through openness and immensity. Anchoring Janesville deep roots, the artist's vision and design weaves together elements of nature, history, agriculture and industrial form in a walkable and intimate way. With the unveiling of the Resilience bridge sculpture, Janesville’s focus returns to the river and the Town Square becomes a catalyst for continued growth and renewal.

Process

28,000 pounds of steel pipes seemingly grow out of each side of the bridge deck and are bent to form complex curvilinear surfaces and join each other in the middle. Each pipe gracefully bent, an intricate pattern woven across the bridge deck and then adorned with glass leaves, encouraging people to look up. The glass leaves are laminated in varying shades of green that emphasize the organic form and an ecological connection to place. The stainless steel and glass leaves filter and diffuse natural light casting light with refracted pools of light and creating shadows and shade in the center of the bridge. 

As a canvas, the bridge provided the artist with a rich cultural, historical and environmental conceptual terrain to research and derive inspiration from. The fractal design principles facilitate opportunities for exploration and discovery of our natural processes, patterns and forms. Fractals are orderly variations on a basic pattern. The laws that govern the creation of fractals are found throughout the natural world. From a biological perspective, arranging leaves as far apart as possible in any given space is favored as it maximizes access to resources, especially sunlight for photosynthesis. And fractals are hyper-efficient in their construction.

Additional Information

The ecology of the bridge sculpture is to encourage a relationship between the pedestrian and their interconnected environment; creating a beautiful cultural destination that makes the bridge a symbol of renewal and an expression of how Janesville can restore balance to the landscape downtown. Humans and nature can co-exists in productive harmony, a symbol of our ability to learn from our past and move toward a more sustainable collaborative environment.  Scope of Work:    - Pedestrian Bridge Sculpture - 30’L x 30’L x 26’H - Steel Pipe and Glass with LED Lighting  - Handrail - 460 Linear Feet - Laser Cut and Painted Steel and Stainless Steel with LED Lighting - Bridge Deck Seating - 2 Granite Seating Boulders, 6 Wooden Benches and 2 Granite and Stainless Steel Tables/6Chairs  - Donor Wall - 18’L x 8’H Laser Cut and Painted Aluminum with Etched Glass