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The Unbridled Joy of Frolicking Fish

JTA Headquarters | Jacksonville, FL

This installation was the result of several different ideas coming together, starting with Dazzle camouflage from WWI merchant ships. The idea isn’t so much to hide as to confuse. I have distilled that concept into the mantra… “Destroy the Form!” so first, I create a form and then I visually destroy it through patterning.


As with other abstract artists, I like creating out of basic shapes…the circle, square and triangle. I also like working in basic colors, red, blue, yellow, etc. I pattern with those colors. So when I put a circle with a triangle, I saw that I had created a fish. Suddenly, it’s not abstract anymore, it’s anthropomorphic. And depending how I placed the triangle around the circle, the figure could be making any number of gestures and heading in any number of directions. It’s amazing the emotional range one can achieve with the placement of simple shapes and colors.


As with the specific challenges created by this location, I thought it natural that I should have my creatures scaling the steps… or descending. I didn’t matter!


…So, at this point, I liked how the “fish” progressed around the stairs; but somehow they were just floating in space. I needed something to “ground” them, even if they were in “water.”  That inspired me to create “rectangles of water” to help place them in space and create different levels to separate them visually. The overall result reminds me of a “fish ladder,” which is a real thing that was created to give fish a way to swim upstream when they need to go around a dam or a barrier.


In the end I wanted something that was fun and happy. I wanted to create a place to make one smile as they pass through on their journey to their own destinations.​


"There is no such thing as chance. A door may happen to fall shut, but this is not by chance. It is a conscious experience of the door, the door, the door."


-Kurt Schwitters 

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