Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 36: Art at SMF (Part 3)

When you reach the top of the escalator in Terminal B that leads from the ticketing counters and departure drop-off area, you may notice a colorful mosaic on the floor between the escalator and the shuttle to the "air side" part of the terminal.  At first, the most striking impression will likely be the yellow tiles interspersed with black bird profiles that look almost like old-fashioned portrait silhouettes:

However, if you only focus on the lovely floor tiles, you'll miss the other integral piece of the artwork -- the green cages hanging from the ceiling above each bird silhouette.

The title of this piece by Lynn Criswell is "As the Crow Flies," and it's constructed of aluminum, terrazzo, and polyurethane.  The SMF web site provides some additional insight:  Twenty-one silhouettes of various indigenous Northern Californian birds are inset into the floor and filled with black terrazzo. Each suspended cage is hung directly over a bird silhouette.

The overall impression is one of both balance and tension between the grounded mosaic tiles with the birds incongruously trapped and embedded in stone and the floating objects above that should suggest freedom but instead imply additional entrapment and rigidity.  Even if the birds could escape their tile forms to take flight, would they simply rise straight into a cage and encounter a form of domesticated prison?  Or would they be able to avoid those green objects and find their way out of the glass enclosure of the Terminal to join their appropriate flocks in the blue sky outside?


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