A Hillside Sanctuary





I have a few more photos from our visit to Storm King Art Center I wanted to share with you.  They are of the piece, Solarium, seen above, which is part of the special exhibit, Light and Landscape. This work has a completely different sensibility than the huge metal sculptures I showed you in the previous post.

Solarium is set up on a hillside of wild grasses.  I took this photo as I walked up the paved pathway that circles around to the other side or what would be considered the entry.  I was rather surprised by the effect of this picture when I viewed it later on, as I don't recall feeling the loneliness of the scene as I walked.  The colors of the house set against the sky and the mauve of the grass caught my attention at the moment.

Closer-up, that "isolated hillside sanctuary" feeling as the brochure describes it, dissipates and the sense of viewing a stained-glass house becomes a bit of a curiosity.

Solarium, William Lamson

Technically, the piece is not made of stained glass; it is made of steel, glass and caramelized sugar.
"Caramelized sugar is baked into the windows of Solarium, tinting each a unique amber shade."

Arriving at this point, I reached the "house" by leaving the paved path and walking through a mowed pathway through the tall grasses.  Like sunlight bursting out on a cloudy day, the piece becomes all about the light coming through the colored panes, and on a day like we experienced, the effect is that of joy, warmth and loveliness.



I found myself thinking about how these effects echoed my feelings that day.  During our leisurely hours walking the grounds completely captivated, I had intermittent thoughts adding a poignant, bittersweet quality to my sunny state of enchantment.

This was our last full day of the trip, and in less than a week, Olivia would be back at school.  Summer vacation coming to that inevitable, screeching halt.  We didn't want any of it to end.

I also never forgot our good fortune that for our only chance of a day at Storm King, we had perfect weather.  Too hot, we would have never lasted over five hours; heavy rain and we would not have come, and clouds, well, the photo above wouldn't have even been worth taking.

Then, there was the very sad acknowledgment that if Aaron were still with us, we wouldn't even be on this trip.  I would exchange outcomes, of course, for anything.  

Since I can't make that trade, I accepted the gift of a really great day.  One of the best days I've had in a long, long time.