4Culture and Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs are pleased to announce the creation of a site-specific public artwork by Carolyn Law entitled By Water On Land for the Eastlake neighborhood.
The artwork sits at the intersection of Fairview Avenue North and Fairview Avenue East near the newly developed Cheshiahud Trail. By Water On Land draws its physical form and artistic concept from the urban tension and emotional undercurrents of this place. The site has a strong urban expression dominated by utility poles and trolley lines, forming what the artist calls “a visually condensed and energetic infrastructure.” But, this is also a place at the water’s edge, which brings to it a sublime quality of shifting light, oyster skies and misty breezes.
This artwork actually has its beginnings in the 1990s, as the new Route 70 trolley was developed from downtown to the UW. Law was commissioned to integrate art into the trolley system that responded to the neighborhoods along the line. With the changes brought to the area by the construction of the Mercer Corridor, much of that original trolley artwork was removed. 4Culture asked Law to propose a reconfiguration of the salvaged parts into new artwork.
With the help of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Law was able to reuse seven mast-like components that originally were atop light poles on Fairview and moved gently with the wind – bringing the presence of boats and water to the street. In the new artwork, three of the mast forms retain this kinetic motion and the connection of water to land. The sculptural support is also created from two re-cycled utility poles that have a physical presence that easily resides within the streetscape vernacular but also supports the artist’s intention to shift perceptions and awaken viewers to a new and changing landscape.
This artwork is supported by 1% for Art funds from King County/4Culture and SDOT.