Ode on a Giant Plexiglass Lozenge
New York artist Tom Fruin's sculpture, Watertower, made from recycled plexiglass and steel. The vibrant colours come alive as they are lit by sunlight during the day - and during the day and Arduino-controlled internal light sequences (designed by Ryan Holsopple) at night. Made me think of a giant stained glass vase - or a june bug - or a hard lozenge. Seriously, I think this is a great example of how art saves lives.Picture this.You're sitting on the bridge - getting ready to end it all - when all of a sudden the sun breaks through the clouds & lights up this sculpture like a rotund stained glass window in a great big public and non-denominational cathedral. It feels like a message. You climb down off the railing & stroll down to the corner store to buy some jolly ranchers - for which you suddenly have an inexplicable but powerful urge. Given that it's actually made from the detritus of our urban civilization: recycled plexiglass and steel collected from broken commercial signs that once brightly signified something, and construction projects that once rose optimistically toward the sky, it also made me think of the designs on the sides of John Keats' grecian urn: remnants of an older time that will live on - rendered beautiful forever - through art. So - incase you somehow missed it in grade 10 English class, here you go:
Ode on a Grecian Urn
THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearièd,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands driest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say's,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'