Public Art: Oionos (San Jose Repertory Theatre)*Categories:
- Public Art
Artist: Douglas Hollis (1998)
Oionos is a Greek name for a large mythical soaring bird, as well as a series of experimental kites designed by Alexander Graham Bell. The artwork references text, language, and writing – the tools which poets and playwrights have used throughout history. It is a metaphor for the technology of the written word and for the flight of imagination.
The artwork is composed of two main elements: a 24-foot illuminated quill and a circular element which supports a perforated steel screen with cut-out text. Both the quill and the circle are supported by a 16-foot tapered mast. The quill is mounted on bearings allowing it to rotate in the wind. The structure of both elements is composed of stainless steel tubing.
The artwork also features text from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and reads “We are such stuff as dreams are made on...” This piece celebrates language as a triumph of human ingenuity. As Douglas Hollis said, “Birds fly in air, fish swim in water and humans live in language.”
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