At a pedestrian triangle bordered by Westlake, Seventh and Virginia Avenue, passersby will be surprised by an unexpected series of sculptures that resemble pillows. The sculptures, titled cloud haiku, (2011) are the work of artist Squeak Meisel.
Meisel explains that the artwork was inspired by Zen gardens and cloud watching. “These bronze pillows imply motion and softness in their static solidity and call into question the realities of direct experience. Embodied as a series of static objects in a dynamic center of the city, cloud haiku empowers the passersby as a dancer within the choreography of day to day life”. Meisel encourages viewers to “Look here, look from across the street. Allow yourself to observe the pillows to align and unfold like a secret dance with cars, plants, objects and pedestrians.”
The artist worked with SiteWorkshop, landscape architecture firm for Amazon’s downtown construction project, to install the reconfigured artwork in a new location with high public visibility. cloud haiku (2011) was formerly sited across the street from its current location and was temporarily removed during the construction of the pedestrian plaza and the nearby Amazon building.
Meisel is a sculptor and installation artist who serves on the faculty of the Washington State University Department of Fine Arts. Meisel has an extensive exhibition record and has completed public artworks at Edmonds City Hall in Edmonds, Washington, and Seattle’s International District/Chinatown Community Center. Learn more about his work here .
cloud haiku was funded with Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art funds.
Images by Joan Peterson