16.5′ h x 4′ x 5.6’w Fiberglass, steel, photovoltaic panels, LEDs, acrylic, GFRC, steel, paint, batteries, electronics.
The name of the pieces are “Nepenthes.” The name is derived from a Greek magical potion that would cause the drinker to be relieved from or induce forgetfulness of pain, grief, or sorrow. I hope these sculptures might provide a brief respite from a hectic daily life, transporting us briefly somewhere else.
Nepenthes is also the name of a family of Carnivorous plants. Beautiful, quirky, unusual, weird (not unlike Portlandians). They are the fascinating tropical pitcher plants or “monkey cups” that collect water in their leaf vases that sometimes monkeys drink from. The water has an enzyme in them that helps dissolve insects (and sometimes small animals) that find their way into the cups providing fertilizer for the plants that normally live in infertile locations. The shapes of the sculptures are inspired by the shape of a variety of Nepenthes and celebrates the wonderful diversity and quirkiness of this colorful neighborhood.
Each sculpture contains solar cells and batteries that take in energy in the daytime and allow them to glow after dark. The time on changes with the season….about an hour after sundown. They stay on for 4 hours after they turn on.
The project was funded by TRIMET and was administrated by the Regional Arts and Culture Council of Portland (RACC). The project began with construction funds that were originally allocated towards stamped concrete in the center of 4 blocks. The community requested the funds be used for “Markers” to connect China Town to the Park Blocks (and possibly the Pearl District) along Davis Street- highlighting the street as a vibrant walking corridor and connector. The “Markers” project took a few twists and turns and ultimately became these glowing sculptures.
Construction Photo: Looking inside the the center of the teal sculpture
Thanks to all our great Project Partners:
Regional Arts and Culture Council (administration / project management)
TRIMET (funding source)
Heavy Industries (fabrication)
PMCS (PV/LED Engineering and Design)
Swenson Say Faget (Structural Engineering)
Art and Design Works (Installation)
John Russel (Concrete work)