Paul Marioni
Khadi
1984

LOCATION
North Police Precinct
10049 College Way N.

FUNDING SOURCE
Seattle Police Precincts Bond Issue 1% for Art funds


Nearly 500 iridescent glass blocks form a larger-than-life interwoven pattern on a curving wall that separates the North Police Precinct's lobby from its community meeting room. Paul Marioni designed the wall with assistance from precinct architect Shavey, Degrasse, Shavey. The wall represents the weaving exercise called kadhi that Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian political and spiritual leader, practiced as a form of meditation. The calming repetition of the warp and weft of cloth is elegantly reproduced by the identical glass blocks that Marioni rotated 90 degrees at a time in order to replicate the distinctive pattern.

Marioni incorporated a contemplative peacefulness into his work with the intention of offsetting the often traumatic experiences that accompany a visit to a police station. His work counters distress with a soothing pattern that carefully unites qualities of light, color and texture in an interesting interplay that engages the eye and distracts the mind from the pressures of the moment.

Says Marioni: "It seemed to me the notion of a calming experience was more than appropriate—it seemed necessary in a police station. Almost no one goes into or out of a police station in a calm state of mind. What is important is that people can look at it and feel relaxed or unthreatened by the artwork."