Client: Evanston Art Center
Location: Evanston, IL, United States
Completion date: 2012
Artwork budget: $50,000
Christine Rojek Sculpture
“Breeze Keeper” consists of over 70 wind-activated, counter-balanced elements (62 aluminum prairie images plus 12 unexpected, symbolic sculptures) that are suspended from four frames representing the Illinois landscape. The frames are arranged to form a forced perspective that leads the viewer into the center of the 9’H x 42’W x 24’D installation. The title describes the movement of the sculpture as well as suggests that this “field” is the custodian of stories (as we “shoot the breeze’).”
"Breeze Keeper" was the proposal selected for "Sculpture on the Grounds 2012", an outdoor, site-specific sculpture competition sponsored by Evanston Art Center. The great front lawn of EAC provided a dynamic and unrestricted backdrop for this sculpture. Dramatic tall trees frame the sculpture site, yet the area is open enough to allow strong sunlight and a steady breeze. After walking the grounds through the natural landscape to the inspiring lake view, I was convinced that EAC was the perfect site for “Breeze Keeper”, a wind-activated cluster of images.
My proposal for "Sculpture on the Grounds" included an exact scale model (1"=1'-0") of the sculpture, a site drawing, plus plan and elevation drawings of the installation. Following approval from the arts committee at Evanston Art Center I created detailed fabrication drawings of the structural frames and full scale patterns for the decorative elements. The metal "land forms" and structural frames were water jet cut, then welded by Vector Fabricating. I cut and formed all of the aluminum unique images using a bandsaw, jig saw, roller, welder and sander/grinder. I ground the surface of the aluminum "land forms" to resemble blades of grass. I knew that this surface would get direct sunlight at various times of the day and cause this pattern to glow. Just before sunset the West light shines through the teflon pivot balls highlighting the mechanical details.
During the exhibit I invited twelve people of various ages (ranging from 5-90 years old) to share their stories of inspiration or to talk about just what matters to them at this point in time. I will in turn design and build sculptures to represent these musings, and scatter them throughout the “field”. Eventually “Breeze Keeper” will become homage to the collective ambitions and aspirations of people of all ages.