the Sky Mirrors @ 516
mirrors, scrap tires, stone, sticks and an occasional found object or two · 6'w x 16'd

The Sky Mirrors are the primary sculpture in the center of the garden for the winter season. They bring the sky to the Earth to remind us to look up every once in a while and reflect on the greatness above.

The GardenLab@516 is a Mattress Factory installation at 516 Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh PA. It is located next to the Ruth Stanford house and a few doors down from the Mattress Factory’s main building. An outdoor studio, garden and laboratory installation in the spring, summer and fall seasons, the gardenLab transforms into a light-throwing, mirror-reflecting reflection installation for the winter season.

The GardenLab@516 began in April 2010 and will go on at least into the spring of 2011. There is no end date at this point. It may see another growing season and continue into the fall of 2011.


“...so, what’s with the scary baby face molds?”
That’s the number one question of visitor’s in the GardenLab@516.
Long story short — I like to age white plaster objects by exposing them to natural elements for long periods of time. My interest in aging plaster in this manner started a long time ago with a plaster ballerina lamp. (See Ballerina In The Barn post 1.21.08)

I found these plaster molds in an alley outside of my former studio in the South Side. They had been out in the elements for a while were very damp. I thought they were creepy, but cool, and really shouldn’t be left to disintegrate in a pile of discarded trash. So I gathered them up, matching fronts with backs, brought them into my studio and placed them on a sunny windowsill to dry out. As they sat on the windowsill drying, quite a few visitors to my studio and were drawn to the plaster molds. Most people thought that there had to be a deep meaning attached to them — but really, there wasn’t.

I’m not sure if people
understand when I tell them that their presence in the GardenLab@516 is simply to age the surface through time and exposure to the natural elements, and that the meaning and the physical state of these objects are currently in an embryonic stage. When these objects have aged appropriately, their meaning will be fully developed and they will become part of a future work.

The baby face molds seem to make people uneasy — and that I am sharing them in this public way makes me uneasy — because I can see that people are attaching a certain kind of meaning and importance to them that I feel doesn’t belong in this garden. I’ve contemplated removing them from the garden many times, but I have resisted this urge because the molds do need to incubate in the “laboratory” part of the garden space. They are still growing and it would be wrong to uproot them before they are mature.