The Action of Water

The Action of Water

Medical Examiner’s Office of Mecklenburg County
Charlotte, NC

This work contemplates two actions of water. The movement of waves and tides as they deposit sand on the shore, and evaporation.

I have designed this project with the unusual setting and audience in mind. The majority of people who come to the Medical Examiner’s Office come under mistaken pretenses. They believe they need to identify the body of a loved one. This is almost never the case, and the law actually prevents them from seeing the body in person until it is released to the funeral home. These grieving individuals come to the morgue believing they are there for a specific purpose. In the end, they wait for a time, then go home. It is my goal to create art that allows open-ended contemplation and refuge.

Tidal Pool

At the entrance, visitors look down into a reflecting pool, with a bottom surface of tidal sand cast in dark, inky concrete.

Sand Bed

The same surface of cast tidal sand appears again indoors, as a section rising out of the floor, visitors are again looking down initially.

Glass Cloud

Visitors are drawn to look up, directly above the Sand Bed, to a suspended glass sculpture. The same texture is now transferred to many individual pieces of cast glass suspended on thin cables.

I have been spending time at a beach in my hometown, casting the textures of the sand as the tide retreats. The patterns are sometimes regular, sometimes haphazard, and always balance between the solid nature of the ground, and the fluid nature of water. This piece will provide opportunities for calm reflection, distraction, comfort and wonder.

August 2009

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