- by Ray King
INSTALLATION IN PROGRESS - COMING SOON!
Artist: Ray King
dichroic laminated safety glass and stainless steel
Location: Summit Promenade Fountain
Installed to mark the 50th anniversary of the Promenade Fountain—and the 20th anniversary of Summit Public Art—this dynamic glass sculpture both reflects and projects an ever-changing array of light and colors. Its triangulated panels align along planes that resemble mountain peaks and summits. At its center, a composition of small stainless steel spheres references the constellation “Pleiades,” named after the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione.
Based in Philadelphia, Ray King began working with stained glass in the early 1970s, and has exhibited his work internationally since 1976, including exhibitions in Italy, Japan, England, Spain and France. Major permanent installations of his work have been commissioned throughout the United States and abroad. All are site-specific and inspired by the surrounding space and landscape to create a unique sense of place and identity.
King has been called “The Sun King” because of the way his glass sculptures interact with the light. By creating dynamic interactions with the sun and refracting light into colors—rainbow-like emanations that shift and change as the viewer moves or as the light source changes—King creates an environment that appeals to viewers’ sense of wonderment and delight. As King says, “I’m playing with the sun as a partner.”
Using advanced technology, King designs three-dimensional shapes and patterns that are inspired by forms found in nature. These forms are astoundingly complex, yet simple and elegant, primitive, yet futuristic. The dichroic glass used to construct Pleiades is coated with a special high-tech metallic-film coating developed by NASA that splits white light into complementary colors. The color changes depending on the angle of the light source and the viewpoint of the spectator.
At the same time, King is also interested and inspired by how ancient cultures used light in their rituals and monuments, and how they used mathematics in their artwork to understand planetary movement and their relation to the universe. Hence his inspiration for Pleiades, named and modeled after the constellation of the same name.
The result is a sculpture that, situated here in the fountain to take full advantage of the interplay of light and color and the rushing water, functions not just as a work of visual beauty but a “breathing body of art.”
Take a Look!