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BUDDING FLOWERS

MONUMENTAL STACKED GLASS SCULPTURE

2022

Dimensions 230 x 100 x 100 cm

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The budding Flowers sculpture is dedicated to John Martin Tully's daughter, Helen, her friends, other childhood cancer patients, and their families for their strength, courage and love. 

 

The sculpture has a visually dynamic overall effect, with 'clean', upright lines but a very accentuated swirl. The dynamic nature of the sculpture brings out children's playfulness. It emphasizes the wind element, a widespread natural phenomenon at the park and is allegorically fun. The constructiveness of the "stems" is a symbol of maturity. Three "stems" intertwine, resembling the embrace of the three friends, and they follow on to the top, turning into three "buds". Each of the three intertwining elements remains slightly "apart"/ individual despite the intense intertwining. Three individual, unique flowers bloom next to and interact with each other. The "buds" on top of the "stems" are made to be visually very aerial and delicate. The dynamic effect of wind and playfulness will be more visible due to the fine-grained, well-articulated lines.

 

The sculpture was developed based on the story of three friends - children beyond their age in their conscious apprehension of this world. In the Seijaku En garden, Helen and her friends loved to come and play with the koi fish swirling down the central river. The sculpture's " buds " resemble fins - symbolizing koi fish - which, in Japanese culture, exemplify courage and strength. These children are indeed courageous and strong. In the short time they had been granted to be here among us, they perhaps learned more than someone who lived to see their retirement. But not only did they learn. They taught. They taught -patience, forgiveness, love and happiness. The children still teach with their stories. They teach the rest of us that the most valuable currency in this world is laughter, play, running with the wind and sharing the moments with the dearest ones - friends and family.

 

Glass artist Ernest Vitin (Ernests Vītiņš) was inspired by his visit to the Seijaku En - the Garden of Tranquility and has based many of his ideas on the principles of the Japanese gardens. The main characteristic of the Japanese Garden is "Tranquility" or "Seijam", which is attained by bringing different natural elements into a harmonic play and directing visitors' attention to them, thereby lifting one's spirit and easing a burdened mind. Many studies have shown the positive effects of sunlight on both humans' mental and physical states. The characteristic interplay of layered glass with sunlight (due to hand-cut and treated edges) is a beautiful way to bring the sun into the conscious attention of the stroller. He also integrated windchimes to add another dimension to the sculpture. Windchimes are among the 100 Soundscapes of Japan, depicting 100 symbolic natural sounds of Japan. Japanese call them "cooling", inducing a cooling mental effect on hot summer days and calming a "burning" or overactive, unsteady mind. The Windchime sound is a well-known meditation and contemplation object.

 

The "Budding flowers" were created for the location near the river on the other side of the Red Bridge. The Red Bridge, a symbol of moving from one state to another, brings the stroller closer to the sculpture. The sculpture is technically very elaborate. 6mm Clear glass was used for its development, permitting more details and intricate shapes. We required a team of ten to work on it full-time for five months for the correct result. The height of the sculpture is 2,3m (7'5 feet). Such size does not interfere with the panorama but nicely sets in the scenery. Instead, it will hopefully draw attention to a less visited area of the Japanese Garden and add to the landscape visible from the renovated Moonshine pavilion. 

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