Alquimia Humana: Mary Laredo, Djeto Juncaj & Mark Sawasky
This piece is entitled Homage to La Dama Maria del Carmen, although it’s more commonly known as the Spinning Piece.
Here it is in motion. The Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery now owns the piece and this is where it remains on permanent display.
This kinetic, interactive sculpture is comprised of a hollow four-foot tapered copper vessel encircled by 180 copper forms. These elements are attached to a copper disk, and the entire unit suspends from the ceiling by a nine-foot steel chain. I fabricated all the copper forms from sheet. The chain is meant to be twisted to its limit and released, resulting in a silent twirling of splayed copper forms. As the chain unwinds, the twirling slows and the layered forms wrap themselves around each other in a musical collision of metal on metal. This vigorous display is reminiscent of flamenco dance and is named in honor of my late flamenco Maestra. In 2005 the Gallery purchased the piece and keeps it on permanent display in their windows facing E. Adams. The Gallery is located at 33 E. Adams Ave, Detroit, MI 48226.
Winter Scrap Sphere. I made this piece sometime around early 2000. One day while working in my studio I looked around and saw all the piles of scrap metal that had accumulated from the large work I was doing at the time. The volume of scrap alone was an indication of my vast output. I started to think about the piles of scrap in terms of the labor it represented and wondered how I could measure it. For instance, how much would my labor weigh in any given time increment? I spent the winter season intricately wrapping pieces of scrap metal into this sphere. It’s tightly wrapped to the core, is about the size of a basketball and weighs approximately 70 lbs. The sphere still holds its interest for me and I continue to make them in various sizes for my assemblages, where each is likened to my signature.