Theresa Batty
Mercator
2007

LOCATION
Broadview Branch, Seattle Public Library
12755 Greenwood Ave. N.

FUNDING SOURCE
Libraries for All Bond 1% for Art


Mercator hangs in the front entry vestibule. The artwork is made from dark blue Venetian plaster, a reference to the night sky and the first celestial and terrestrial maps used for navigation. Four glass blocks set in the plaster encapsulate images of stylized signs and symbols taken from meteorology and indigenous philosophies. The symbols represent the four points of a compass and the values associated with each direction. North represents cold and endurance; the south embodies wisdom and warmth; the east symbolizes peace and light; and the west stands for water and strength.

Overarching themes of guidance and pathfinding lie at the heart of this work. The suggestions of voyage relate direction in the world to personal searches for belonging and identity. These ideas are at home in the exploration and discovery a library provides.