Union is a stunning largescale outdoor sculpture created by one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, Seattle-based John Grade. The sculpture, comprised of over 6,000 individual cast resin parts framed in laminated ceiba wood, will be suspended dynamically from two large nets spanning more than 100 feet between eight trees in the middle of Washington Park Arboretum. Grade inspiration for Union was a fallen western red cedar in Seattle’s Discovery Park.
The top of the trunk of the fallen tree was divided into two slender leaders. Broken by the fall, both leaders revealed their concentric growth rings. Grade focused on the differences between each of these cross sections and divided Union into two magnified representations of each leader. Moving in tune with the elements, the beautiful sculpture is comprised of cupped forms that collect and release rainwater, cast in shades of blue and green, with patterns that mimic the cell structure of the trees from which it is suspended.
Grade worked with his Seattle studio team of 15 artisans over six months to create the sculpture. It will take a crew of six to install, supported by thin, stainless-steel cables and rings and the surrounding tree trunks.