Northwestern University Medical Center
20’ x 12’ x 7’
Asclepius is the Greek God of Medicine and Healing. His daughters are Hygiea ("Hygiene", the goddess/personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation), Iaso(the goddess of recuperation from illness), Aceso(the goddess of the healing process), Algaea(the goddess of beauty, splendor, glory, magnificence, and adornment), and Panacea(the goddess of universal remedy). The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today.
The concept for this sculpture comes from the image of the snake- entwined rod of Asclepius. The staff belonging to the God of Healing seems a fitting inspiration for a sculpture in a university medical center. The sculpture will have a feeling of lightness and movement that will engage the viewers as they travel up or down the escalators. The staff of Asclepius is represented by the silver and gold vertical elements and the snake is represented by the spiral of horizontal arcs. The other concept present in this sculpture is the passing of the seasons. The colors of the spiraling horizontal crescents start with spring greens and blues at the top, moving down into summer then autumn and finally into the cool blues and pale evergreens of winter. Because of the changing colors the viewer’s experience of the sculpture will be constantly changing depending on their vantage point. The viewer will be able to see the sculpture from below and above and straight on. The concepts of healing and the cycle of the seasons are bound together with the image of the spiral which itself connotes continuity and protection.
As the visitors ascend or descend the escalators they will observe a spiral made of hundreds of anodized aluminum crescents. The spiral is wrapped around the “rod’ which is made of two concentric vertical spirals also made of anodized aluminum. The inner spiral of the rod is gold and the outer spiral of the core is silver. The vertical elements of the “rod” will be abe to rotate 360 degrees on their vertical axis while the horizontal crescents which make up the spiral will not move.