Courtesy: Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
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Seattle Garden

Seattle, Washington

Ann Sperry

City Light Union Street Substation, 1312 Western Ave., Seattle, Washington, 98101
Owner:  Seattle City Light
Date:  1988
Placement:  electric substations
Artwork Type:  sculpture (visual work), installations (visual works)
Material:  steel (alloy), paint
Description:  Overlapping angular flowers and foliage sprout from the top of the four-foot-tall concrete wall that runs along two sides of the Union Street City Light Facility. Artist Ann Sperry designed the 334-foot safety barrier of silver, spike-like shoots to be both visually interesting and practical. The artwork creates a functional barrier between the restricted site and the busy pedestrian area that surrounds it. The plant motif extends to the facility's gate, where flower and stem shapes help promote public safety and security by limiting access to the facility.

Sperry explains: "I [wanted to create] a welded and painted steel garden on the top of the existing wall that would grow out of the concrete, the stem/plant/leaf/flower forms intersecting, overlapping, and interweaving to create an impenetrable botanical fence. These are not plants that are indigenous to the area; I am talking about a fantasy garden—a generic garden of the mind."

Seattle City Light 1% for Art funds

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