THE BIG WON
- Wired Wildlife
- Winds of Wire
winged steed, unwearying of flight, sweeping through air swift as a
gale of wind.
Journal International - by Joseph Ofredi, associate editor
the winged horse of Greek mythology, was as wise as he was
beautiful. Tamed by the young rider Belerophon with his golden bridle,
together they killed the dreaded Chimera and disposed of many enemies;
but when the mortal Bellerophon tried to ride Pegasus up to Olympus to
take his place with the gods, the horse threw off his rider.
Bellerophon, sadly, was left to wander alone, hated by the gods, until
he devoured his own soul and died. Pegasus, however, found shelter in
the heavenly stalls of Olympus, forever alert in bringing bolts of
lightning to Zeus, the greatest of the gods. The steed remains the
symbol of inspiration, freedom and joy.
Louisville, Kentucky, USA, site of the annual Kentucky Derby as well as
this fall's Wire Expo 1992, is famous for its tradition of horses. When
the city's commercial airport, Standifiend Field, opened its Landside
terminal in 1985, former Airport Authority Board chairman James
Thompson wanted to donate something to mark the occasion.
Thompson recalled buying a small wire-sculpture horse in Gump's, a
unique California department store several years earlier. He decided to
contact its artist about a much bigger project. "Louisville is horse
country, and there's only one horse that can fly, so the idea of
Pegasus really wasn't that hard to come by", he says.
in storage, waiting while the terminal is renovated
commissioned artist Eliabeth Berrien of Eureka, Calif., to create the
now acclaimed hanging sculpture for display in the airport.
|"It's a life-sized horse with a
17 feet", says the artist.
"Even so, it only weighs about 25 pounds." The wire Pegasus took
Berrien about six months to complete - "There were times when I was
very glad to reach the end of the day," she remembers - and has been in
place since the terminal opened, June 30, 1985.
"The wire I used was recycled, 3/32" aluminum rod," she explains, "and,
as always, I didn't use any tools to shape it, only my bare hands." The
artist has been creating with wire for 25 years and has made several
hundred wire sculptures.
Berrien, whose specialty is animals and who has sculptures on display
in various museums and galleries, modeled this creation after a
two-year-old racehorse. She worked from about 30 photographs to capture
the animal from all angles, and one photo was a particular help.
"The shot was taken at the horse's first race. Because he was young, he
was startled at the popping flashbulbs at the finish line and jumped
into the air!" says Berrian. "It was just what I needed."
Thompson, who is president of the Standiford Field Art Foundation, is
pleased that the image of Pegasus has become the symbol of the
Louisville airport. "I am very proud of it. It's attractive, and
unique, so many people that come to our airport have their picture
taken under it."
Class Wire Sculpture
· Elizabeth Berrien (707) 445-4931 · email email@example.com
Content and images
© Elizabeth Berrien. All rights reserved.
Updated Oct 7, 2011
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