Written by 5:24 PM installation, news, project, sculpture

POD Providence Installation by Chris Cox

City of Providence, RI (USA)

This was my premier piece of public art and it is currently installed in the city of Providence, RI (USA) in a riverside park across from the address 345 South Water Street. The sculpture is entitled POD. Because the art work was designed to be in the public domain the intent was for it to be easily appreciated by the general population, as an example or rather ambassador, of “art.”

Christopher Cox, POD

The sculpture consists of six monoliths arranged in a cluster invoking the essence of Stonehenge. The figures can be perceived to stand each on their own, a collection interesting shapes assertively existing in space together, however, they are intended to be perceived as three pairs; each pairing, using negative, and in one instance, positive space, forms a loose depiction of a sperm whale that seem to move as the viewer walks around the piece due to the angles the positive shapes are placed to each other. This familiar animal representation is meant to make it possible for the average non-art inclined citizen, to be able to feel they found and understood something hidden behind something they consider abstract. The goal is to grant people the confidence that they “get art.” This confidence is expected to be fun for them and hopefully cause them to seek out experience art in the future.

Christopher Cox, POD (maquette)

Two of the pairs create whales using only negative space they are symbolic to me of the tragic deaths of two of my closest friends who died too young. The third pair makes use of both negative and positive space to create the third whale swimming sideways not towards heaven or hell like the other two. This pair is a reminder to me to not always look at the negative but look at the positive fact of all the people I care about who are still here with me. This was also done to prevent the sculpture, and it’s use of negative space from getting stale; this one pairing of figures, challenges the viewer to consider both aspects of space, negative and positive to realize their depicted whale. The play on methods here, gives the artwork a sense of authenticity and presence as “art.” Hopefully prompting an inquisitive viewer to search for a deeper meaning and reason for the design and creation of this monument, while creating visual interest by triggering the instinctual problem solving impulses in the mind of the viewer’s eye, to make sense of the break in pattern.

Christopher Cox, POD

Using an antiquated overhead projector that only some of you readers will remember in classrooms, the artist built the sculpture nearly to an exact scale of one inch equals one foot in respect to the original artist maquette. Each monolith comprising the sculpture stands between 5 1/2 and 7 feet tall. These figures together making the sculpture stand approximately 12 feet in diameter. The media used to fabricate the piece is composite fiberglass reinforced plastic and designed to withstand being installed outdoors and potentially interacted with and climbed on by the general public. The surface of the sculpture is that of the natural texture of the fiberglass mat it was fabricated with. This was done for two reasons; to give the piece and organic feel like that of stone or pitted wrought iron, and to highlight its fiberglass construction as an homage to the state of Rhode Island’s long history of boat building.


Christopher Cox

Chris Cox Website
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