Tranquility – Wire Botanicals

Submitted by Elizabeth Berrien

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Client: Kaiser-Permanente

Location: Renton, WA, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $72,000

Project Team

Artist

Elizabeth Berrien

Wire Zoo

Interior Designer

Sara Van Dyke

Ankrom-Moisan

Industry Resource

Sarah Takahashi

Allison & Ross Fine Art Services

Client

Kaiser-Permanente

Kaiser-Permanente

Overview

Ankrom-Moisan architects of Portland, OR engaged me to create wire wall art for their “Tranquility” themed design project of Kaiser-Permanente's new administrative headquarters in Renton, WA. I submitted actual wire samples of native Washington botanicals for a pair of walls, approx 96″ x 132″. We decided on zoomed in wire sword ferns for one wall, a combination of ferns and native wild rose for the other wall. The chosen material was aluminum wire, entirely hand-formed by myself.

Goals

Ankram-Moisan's designers strove to create an atmosphere of tranquility, to relax and energize people who work withing the space. They chose a thoughtful range of artisans and artwork in a vast array of media and styles, which somehow held to the unifying theme of timeless ease. Use of color, lighting, abstract, representational and other approaches had a highly successful outcome. It was wonderful knowing that my contribution would make office life that much more livable for those who spent their days in proximity to my wire botanicals.

Process

I love collaborating with design teams and project managers. Following a series of lively emails and phone conferences, I visited Ankram-Moisan's offices in Portland. They made their presentation of different ways they were approaching the Tranquility theme, and how they felt my signature style of wire sculpture would mesh with their design plans. I presented images of past works that represented the scope and caliber of my abilities, honed by several decades spent creating thousands of wireworks. We then proceeded to the specific RFQ stage, occasionally modifying thematic specifics until we were all in love with the same designs.

Additional Information

Each and every element of the Tranquility wire project was entirely hand-twisted by myself, with minimal use of pliers or other tools. This rare textile wire technique allows for more spontaneity and fluidity of line than most wire sculptures. To achieve optimal visual punch, I arrived on site to consult with the client's installation team. Working together, we managed placement in such a way that the works please the viewer's eye, from every angle as they walk past.