The Place Where We Meet, Sculpture
Stainless steel, anodized aluminum and fused glass sculpture for Mercy Housing in Auburn, CA.
13′ tall, 14′ across
The Place Where We Meet outdoor sculpture is both an eye-catching statement for the corner of Bell Rd. and First St., and an embracing form welcoming the residents into the larger local community through a celebration of life journey and home. The sculpture’s form contains several symbols that connect to our region’s natural heritage and indigenous values.
First and foremost, the spiral form represents the snail, associated with wisdom, patient progress, persistence, peace, self-care, and harmony. It’s a gentle creature that carries her home wherever she goes. They also symbolize self-love and self-care above everything else, retreating into their shell at the first sign of danger. As the snail moves through life, she adds new compartments to her shell and her home evolves. Inside each compartment on the sculpture is a fused glass disk that represents a gathered and stored seed, representative of renewed possibility.
The anodized aluminum chain basketry references the cultural practice of basketmaking to safely store what we want to keep. Since earliest times, baskets woven from reeds and grasses have functioned as containers for gathered bounty. The weaving of the basket contains symbolic patterns that are themselves a weaving together of the natural world. Womblike in form, woven from and holding the vegetation associated with the cycle of life, baskets link the practical and spiritual. In this basket reference, we hold respect for each other and our landscape. On a literal dimension, the sculpture has the potential to accommodate a seating spot inside. The basketry pattern tells the story of the basket, here representing a historic Miwok basket pattern of lightning–the symbol of truth. This particular pattern may easily be altered at this conceptual stage to represent a preferred pattern or idea.
Other references include the snakeskin and eagle feather. In Miwok culture, the snakeskin represents growth and shedding of the past. The mesh swirl around the basket form represents the shedded skin. The sculpture is topped with a crown of eagle feathers that curl towards the sky. The eagle is the protector who oversees what we do on the ground. In this exuberant crown configuration, we welcome the eagles of our local raptor migration to bestow their blessings.