Artists: Jacqueline Metz , Nancy Chew
Location: Beaverton, OR
“Puff” is an interactive, suspended, magical motion sculpture made from rearview mirrors outstretched from a stainless steel sphere.
“Puff” hangs in the beautiful light-filled lobby of the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts and greets visitors by turning upon their movements using built-in motion sensors.
The sculpture has a 10 foot diameter and 288 mirrors attached to each of the metal dowels, offering a spectacular eye-catching site as it reflects the light from the floor to ceiling windows.
Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew, the Lead Artists for The Reser, chose the elegant lobby as their location. The goal was for an artwork that takes advantage of the dynamic volume, leaving the floorspace open for events, and the possibility for interactive electronics. Opsis Architecture said the art “will require abstraction and delicacy.”
This location is described in the artists’ Art Framework Plan as a ‘refined interior requiring a high level of craftsmanship, and an adeptness in how the art interplays with the complex architectural tectonics of the space’. For the fabrication, installation and seamless integration into the architecture the artists worked with Gizmo Art Production Inc. The artists and Gizmo worked closely with the building team on siting, structural and electrical integration. The end result is an artwork that is fully integrated visually into the architecture; it is abstract, delicate yet robust, and forms a point about which the lobby seems to revolve.
“Puff really is perfect for the building. The scale, geometry, texture, shadow play, and reflections are in perfect harmony with the architecture. The rearviewmirrorball enlivens and humanizes the volume of the Lobby…and graphics on the floor beneath the sculpture are exquisite.” David Suttle, Opsis Architec
Gizmo worked closely with Muse Atelier on honing the final design, refining the positions of the mirrors and implementing the motion sensor technology that would make this piece perfect for the space. Across their multiple fabrication shop locations in San Francisco, Gizmo built this piece using machining, welding, finishing and mechanical work and installed “Puff” in Beaverton, Oregon.
Artist Statement: A dandelion puff floats above the lobby. Delicate yet robust, the sculpture is made of metal and mirrors, each shaped like a rearview mirror. On the floor below is the stained shadow of two drifting dandelion seeds. The dandelion puff – so transitory – suggests the innocence, freedom and memories of a child dreaming in the summer sun, and the poignancy of time passing. This form also refers to a mirrorball – to dance, extravagance, the excitement of opening night – and to you becoming part of the show. Puff casts shadows and flashes of reflections, and captures fragmented images of the surround. The mirrors are a subtle reference to a quote by Marshall McLuhan, “We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror”.
Photo credits: Josh Partee Architectural photography