New public artwork on Mercer Street was inspired by South Lake Union biotech
SEATTLE — Last weekend Origami Tessellation 324.3.4 (Fractured) by Seattle artist Ellen Sollod was installed along the Mercer Corridor in the South Lake Union neighborhood. The sculpture—a 28-foot-tall cylinder of stainless steel—was placed in the median of Mercer Street at Boren Avenue North. The concept for the work is based on tessellations, the process of creating a pattern formed by the repetition of geometric shapes. In the artwork, white light emanates through perforations in the metal surface and highlights the folding pattern. In the evening, blue and white light illuminate the exterior.
Sollod was inspired by the scientific research for which the South Lake Union area is becoming known. Biotech research is grounded in analysis of cells and sub-cellular behavior. In her artwork, Sollod refers to both molecular biology and biotechnology with an analogy for the replication of DNA.
While Origami is the major art installation for the Mercer Street Corridor, additional elements designed by Sollod including benches, manhole covers and tiles, will be installed over the next year. The landscape of the median has been designed to complement the artwork and consists of berms, wet ponds and plant material. The work was commissioned with Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art funds and administered by the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.
The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs supports the health and vitality of our city by providing access to arts and culture, advancing the role of the arts in our community, and advocating for issues that affect the entire cultural community.
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