Site/Person-specific sculpture

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Design Concept Description

Concept for Site/Person-specific sculpture:
Copyright, Edward Fleming, 2007

Every person has a direct connection to a time of day or night and a season, by virtue of their birthday. And everyone has a story that involves other important dates and times relating to events in their life. These times, dates and seasons all have celestial connections to the sun and moon as well as other planets and stars that are in certain positions in the sky at those specific times. This is a very old tradition that can be seen and understood throughout history, around the world.

In a similar way, any site, from very small to very large, has a celestial connection. The sun rises and sets at different points along the horizon depending on the season, casting shadows across the site at varying lengths depending on the time of the day as well as the season. The moon also does this but in an even more complex, long-range and subtle pattern. These two major bodies as well as the other planets and stars move across the sky as time and seasons change, creating points of direction in relation to the site. These points can create powerful alignments that relate visually to natural and human-made elements in near, mid and distant ranges. For example, the sunset on the winter solstice could be viewed through a saddle in a distant mountain range that can be best seen from a particular place on the site. This event, once recognized, gives that specific place on the site significance that can be anticipated and celebrated.

A person’s birthday (or other event) can be celebrated in the same way. For example, a birth at 11am, October 23rd, will relate to a specific position of the sun that will direct light from a certain compass point on the horizon (azimuth) and from a certain elevation above the horizon (altitude). Knowing just this, a sculpture can do a number of things, including casting a shadow to a specific place or allowing a beam of light to align with another point at that exact moment. Either of these can mark that time of birth in a powerful way by connecting that time and place on the site with the sun. This creates a linkage between the center of our solar system and a site on our planet that celebrates the arrival of a particular person on Earth. There are, literally, as many variations on this theme as there are stars on the sky.

The central idea for person/site-specific sculpture is to combine stone sculpture, architectural and landscape design with this understanding of the celestial connection to a site and a person. My intention is to create an environment in which to place a sculpture that will celebrate important events in people’s lives. I would offer my design and sculpture which could be combined with an Architect’s or Landscape Architect/Designer’s ideas. We would collaborate with anyone interested in this concept to create a completely unique work of art.