In about a month, the huge wall that has separated the major B Concourse construction site from the C Concourse and the rest of the main terminal for two years will come down, and passengers will walk by our mosaic column and beneath the Canopy ceiling.
Installation of the mosaic sections on the 9 1/2 ft. tall, 2 1/2 ft. diameter column was quick, in comparison with the huge mosaic above. It took Herbert, Daniel, and Erik only two days to install the column's mosaic sections. The ceiling has no grout separating its 750,000 or more individual, close-fitting tesserae. Because the column's surface is curved, however, slightly spreading the gap between adjoining pieces, and because it is touchable by passersby at ground level, it got a solid, dark gray grout. The darker lines between the pieces not only give it an even greater sense of solidity, but enhance its already somewhat more abstract design.
From the start, our concept was to make the column intriguing from a distance, beckoning for closer investigation, but not a realistic "birch trunk." Our hope is that passengers will see this single mosaic column as they come out of the security screening area or head from their planes toward this junction of the two main concourses, and will want to examine it more closely. Only when they get near to it will the ceiling come into view, and we hope that the dramatic appearance of the forest canopy overhead will not only reveal the column's reference, but surprise and delight all who walk beneath it.
What I have not been able to convey, I realize, is the overall impact of the piece, or how it looks as a whole. We have already begun work with a professional photographer who will document the finished artwork thoroughly, and who will "stitch" together digital images of the ceiling in order to show it in a single view with minimal distortion.
When that is done, I will post some of those images here on the website. But believe me when I say that you'll have to walk through this terminal, approach the column from a distance, and have the ceiling suddenly loom overhead as you traverse the two-story, clerestory space to appreciate its full impact.
A Busy Month
As exciting as the mosaic installation process has been, it's far from the only thing I've been working on in the last month. In my next post, I'll share some images of and comments on an exhibition of my work that just opened last week in South Carolina, and the two large double-portrait commissions that I've completed in the last six weeks.
Here is a sneak preview of my work on view in September at the Aiken (South Carolina) Center for the Arts.