Artist: Reven Swanson
Materials: Kiln-fired handmade fused glass tile mosaic
Dimensions: 12′ x 195′
About Stairway to Heaven
Reven Swanson designed and installed this celestial mosaic inspired by Led Zeppelin’s ballad of the same name. Concert-goers can enter Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre with style as they ascend this colorful staircase.
There is a universe captured in a unique art object. Over 400 sheets of specialty glass shipped from Portland, Oregon and Baja California, Mexico were cut, fired and shaped to find their own place in the installation.
Swans says “The origin of “Fiddler’s Green” plays an interesting reference in folklore and literature. I interpreted the legend as a transitory place for souls to meet, dance and celebrate. There’s a canteen to drink and be merry. It’s a collection of fellow comrades and a shared wholeness. I want to present these ideas in a modern, contemporary context. That lead my studies to images of cosmic microwave patterns, quantum physics and photoelectronic imageries. In our modern culture, we tend to see souls as energy mixed in a transitory state of the cosmic conscience.
The research for this project, I found examples of stairway art. The designs are generally elementary, such as trees, rivers, piano keys, faces – mostly objective and representational art. The materials are paint, vinyl and ceramic tile. The tiles used are square production or rough “smashed” tile patterns. It is proposed to use fused glass. It is one-of-a-kind and a unique application, which to my knowledge no other example exists in our modern art culture.
Fused glass will be fabricated into a “puzzle-piece” mosaic configuration. Each tile is cut to fit the adjacent tile. The media of fused glass lends itself to interact with light by use of iridescent, translucent and opaque qualities. The color variations are endless by blending frit (powdered glass). The overall image is non-objective and lends itself to personal interpretation.
The proposed design offers a large geometrical shape to be seen from a distance. Variations in texture will play with the ever-changing natural and artificial light creating a visual energy. As the viewer approaches and climbs the stairwell, a more intricate detail unfolds. The design will create a liquid and transitory feeling. It will be whimsical, dance, and celebrate the gathering of souls.
As a sculptor, I have created outdoor three-dimensional works that embraces kinetic energy. For my tile and two-dimensional works, I explore “implied kinetic” energy. For this project, there will a layered effect of color and material to allow a visual energy that embodies movement and a feel of liquid tension.”