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Leonardo, Vol. 12, p. 217. Pergamon Press Ltd. 1979. Printed in Great Britain. SCULPTURE: A ‘MEMORIAL’ TO A TORNADO Sidney Buchanan*with Judith K. Van Wagner** 1. The largest sculpture I have made (earlier, smaller ones I have discussed in Ref. 1)is called ‘Patrick’, after my son. Its height is 6.9 m and its weight is about 5000 kg (Fig. 1, cf. color plate). Three sloping legs support a central chaotic arrangement that is surmounted by six vertical shafts-all the elements are parts of structural steel Ibeams . The sculpture was first assembled in my studio at the University of Nebraska for installation at a site in Pipal Park, a public park in the city of Omaha. Pipal Park was one of the areas struck by one of the most destructive tornados in the history of the U S A . It devastated parts of Omaha on 5 May 1976. The views of huge bent I-beams of the shattered buildings gave me the idea to construct a ‘memorial’to the tornado made from some of these I-beams. By the time I obtained permission to install the proposed sculpture on the site, a salvage company had transported the damaged I-beams to a steel yard at nearby Council Bluffs,Iowa. Thecompany kindly agreed to donate the beams I wanted and to haul them to my studio. I collected for the project a sum of about $1000 from private and public organizations; the largest amounts were contributed by the University of Nebraska-Omaha Research Fund and the Nebraska Arts Council. It was necessary for me to spend about $500 of my own money before the project was completed. The largest expense I incurred was for the purchase of a one-ton electric hoist, *Sculptorand Teacher,Dept. of Art, Universityof Nebraska **Arthistorian,Dept. of Art, State University of New York, at Omaha, Box 688. Omaha, NB 68101, U.S.A. Plattsburgh, NY 12901, U.S.A. (Received 13 Nov. 1978) which I needed in addition to a used three-ton hoist that I obtained as a gift to the University from an Air Force Base near Omaha. 2. Assembly of the sculpture in the studio began in September 1976. The central arrangement of the piece was constructed by welding its elements together while it was supported about 180 cm above the floor by temporary legs. When the piece wasassembledat the Park site,the three I-beam legsand the vertical smallerI-beams at the top were bolted and later welded to the central arrangement. When the assembly was completed, the piece was painted with a blue oil enamel. As a large sculpture, it differs from those I have seen in the U.S.A. in that it ismade from used metal parts. I find a wide variety of interesting metal forms in large cityjunk yards. I also wish to point out that I do not make preparatory small-scale models but work directly at full scale. A public dedication of ‘Patrick’ took place on 5 May 1977,one year after the tornado struck Omaha. There is a fineview of the sculpture from a road near the smallknoll at the edge of the Park where it stands, and, to me, it signifiesorder being reestablished from the chaos caused by the tornado. Reference 1. S.BuchananwithJ. K. Van Wagner,Metal SculptureReliefs: ‘Metal Paintings’,Leonardo 10, 89 (1977). 217 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
p. 217
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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