LED lighting, fiber optic cable, steel
"The magnificent blue heron nests found in Bellevue, WA are the inspiration for Longboat.Reed.Rookery. The form is also reminiscent of a Native American longboat, historically used to travel through the nearby Mercer Slough. Like birds that take a bit of this and a bit of that to form, insulate and soften their nests, the artist built this work from a collection of unexpected, man-made materials. At night, glowing fiber optic lighting woven through the silver reeds reveals the form of the boat floating in the air. The artist's intention for this work, and for The Root that begins the journey, is to poetically link nature to western culture's advances in technology, and to reveal the site's past while looking forward to the city's collective future.
The Bellevue City Hall building itself was originally designed as a telecommunications switching building, created to house computers and not people. Miles of fiber optic and copper cables, analog and digital switching systems, flashing lights and computers were packed into this giant nearly windowless building.
In thinking about this project and the Root, I was interested in revealing parts of the city that we don't normally see. In the Root it became a metaphor for the hidden infrastructure systems of the city. In Longboat.Reed.Rookery it reveals the hidden macro infrastructure inside the walls, floors and ceilings of the building. The revealed weavings of the LRR underscore the importance of transparency in government and the interdependence of infrastructure for the function of the city.
Four major works were created by Pacific Northwest artists and integrated into the design and redevelopment of an old telecommunications building that is now Bellevue City Hall. The artworks celebrate the history, culture, and people of Bellevue, creating a pathway from the city's past to its future.
The artists – Dan Corson, Linda Beaumont and Alan Story were captivated by Bellevue's history and natural beauty. Taken together, their art – The Root, Longboat.Reed.Rookery, Current and Compass – weaves a narrative about Bellevue. They have collaborated to build a story, using a rich variety of materials, creating one interwoven and continuous art experience, linked by a silver thread.