In 2011 Natalie Blake Studios was awarded a public art grant from Chabot College in Hayward, CA. We’ve posted several articles about our work on this grant. We now have installation shots from Natalie’s recent trip to install some of the work.
Finally installed, the Grandmother tree looks like it has been there for a century. The Grandmother tree’s long flowing lines draw the eye up from the waterfall of blue tiles at the center of Chabot’s faculty building. The second floor balcony provides another vantage point for this central oasis.
The Chavez Plaza where students gather outside the Student Center now has two new pieces installed: the Chavez Tree and the Mandala. The Chavez Tree was inspired by sliding thumb puzzles (those little plastic square puzzles from the 80′s where you slide the little squares to unscramble the image) giving the eyes a game to play moving from color to color and section to section. When carving this one section at a time I was immersed in roots then trunks, branches then leaves. Each section had a different quality from the next. The roots are at eye level; the rest tower above in their architectural niche.
The Mandala resonates on a human scale. The life force expands outwards flickering into different colors. It ties into the quatrefoil architectural motif found around the campus. (Quatrefoil: an ornamental design of four lobes or leaves as used in architectural tracery, resembling a flower or four-leaf clover).