Carolyn Law
By Water On Land
2013

LOCATION
Fairview Avenue North and Fairview Avenue East

FUNDING SOURCE
SDOT and King County 1% for Art funds


By Water On Land draws its physical form and artistic concept from the urban tension and emotional undercurrents of its location. The site is dominated by the elements that comprise our city streets such as utility poles and trolley lines, forming what the artist calls "a visually condensed and energetic infrastructure." At the same time it is at the water's edge, bringing a sublime quality of shifting light, oyster skies and misty breezes.

Law describes her exploration of this dichotomy by stating, "The essence of the proposal is an infrastructure drawing that is responsive to all this. It co-opts elements of the site's infrastructure. The piece is lyrical. It invites a shift in awareness and perspectives, as people move around, through and by. The site is a neighborhood and physical nexus. Go one direction and you move into the commercial area. Go the other direction and you go towards the seam between land and lake. This piece makes the place legible in different ways."

By Water On Land actually has its beginnings in the 1990s, as the new Route 70 trolley was developed from downtown to the University of Washington. Law was commissioned to participate with the design team to integrate art into the trolley system that responded to the neighborhoods along the line adjacent to Lake Union. With the changes brought to the area by the construction of the Mercer Corridor, much of that original trolley artwork was removed. 4Culture asked Law to propose a reconfiguration of the salvaged parts into new artwork, and to find a place for it along the trolley route.