Carolyn Law
Broad Street City Light Facility
1985

LOCATION
Broad Street City Light Facility
Junction of Broad Street, Thomas Street and Taylor Avenue

FUNDING SOURCE
Seattle City Light 1% for Art funds


Artist Carolyn Law created a three-sided mesh fence incorporating electricity-themed shapes and symbols to enclose the triangular Seattle City Light facility at Broad Street, part of the remodel and expansion of the site completed in the early '80s. On the Broad Street side of the fence, Law added multiple layers of the mesh material and created optical effects ranging from near opacity to a shimmering transparency. On the side facing the more pedestrian-friendly Thomas Street, Law incorporated pictographic images in red representing bolts of electricity supplying energy to homes. The images come in and out of view according to the viewer's position. The third section, accented with red, yellow and blue mesh panels, faces Thomas Avenue. This section plays with the plane of the barrier and creates a zigzag pattern of acute angles that evokes traditional ideographic representations of the power bolt.

"As an artist," Law says, "I'm an experimenter, exploring how people live in the world." She continues, "I wanted to create a variety of subtle yet distinctive visual experiences that worked with the technical needs of the [site]."