When my nephew from Southeast Alaska was just a tot, he came to Seattle and squinted up at the sky. “What’s that stuff in my eyes?” he asked. “What stuff?” asked his mom. “That shiny stuff.”
Oh, that would be sunshine. Yes, the sun does shine in Seattle, even more than in Juneau, but so not much lately. Our weather tends to be soft, our skies pastel.
It was autumn when we left Seattle last Friday.
Two hours later, we stepped off a plane into summertime.
The California sky was so blue!
The light was intense, and even the shadows seemed to take on a life of their own.
This was most noticeable in the courtyard of the Cantor Art Museum on the Stanford campus, where we saw a sculpture by Robert Serra.
It was 200 tons of iron, 13 feet tall, 67 feet long. At first I thought it looked like smoke stacks on a steamer or scrap metal from an old factory.
But there is more to it than meets the eye.
It is two interlocking figure 8s that we could step inside…
…to interact with…and become a part of the sculpture.
The slanting walls were surprising, but the effect was intriguing.
We felt like Alice going down the rabbit hole.
Each step brought a new view.
The interplay between light and shadow and sky was brilliant.
We viewed a hundred canvases, each one borrowing colors from the same palette…
…but every one a distinct new creation.
It was playful.
Definitely a case of love at second sight.
All words and images copyright Naomi Baltuck.