Natalie has recently been musing on her public art grant from Chabot Collge (Hayward, CA). This large grant was given to the studio in 2011 for a campus-wide art installation. Here’s what Natalie recently had to say about the Blue Ripple Mandala:
The Blue Ripple Mandala is one of our largest installations on the Chabot College campus. This piece started out as a gift to the college, and turned into one of our favorite pieces. We didn’t want to cheat the fabulously ugly wall out of the best possible solution. This wall faced the exit of the new $5 million dollar administration building, an oversight from the architect in my opinion. Why do we feel concrete walls with all the goop stains and form lines are acceptable?
They are a huge NO facing us, as far as I’m concerned. I wanted to make a huge YES with that Blue Ripple Mandala.
I had created this idea for a piece as a proposal for another art grant in Albequerque. Cynthia Parker-Houghton (Natalie Blake Studios Designer) figured out the correct scale for this piece and carved it out beautifully. We envisioned blue for this piece from the beginning, as a cooling agent for the campus. The blistering heat can be a menace to daily campus life, especially shrouded in cement walls and walks. While the concept of the piece was a blue mandala with ripple waves, what I now see after it is in place is an abstract flower that is really a reflection as seen in ripples of water.
Installing the Blue Ripple Mandala: