Artwork #61


by Dianne Sonnenberg, Council District 6

Mixed media, 2018

Courtesy of the Artist

This sculptural piece was inspired by my personal and cultural journey through truth and reconciliation. I am an adoptee. I am Native American. As I navigate my recent reunion with my biological family, my community and my culture, I experience the exquisite newfound embrace, as well as a wide range of emotions. These are felt for my own personal experience, as well as the experiences of my culture, as it continues to seek its place in our North American society.

I deeply crave the inner peace signified by the fragile globe in the center of my art, and hope this for my community and culture as well. It is all connected. As we all find our balance and peace, the embrace is close and protective, but does not quite touch. 

The flow and direction of the exterior mosaic arises from Canadian Shield granite, the oldest known stone in North America. Some of these pieces are billions of years old. Granite is considered very dense and strong. However, under the artist’s hammer, it yields to the touch and becomes quite malleable. The small individual pieces are easily broken, but together, they are strong. The stone foundation evolves into the more refined Byzantine glass smalti and 24K gold “streaks”, culminating in a beautifully rich and saturated cobalt blue. Thousands of pieces of hand cut materials are pieced together one by one by the artist to create the exterior of this work of art.

Lepidolite, a form of mica, lines the interior of the sculpture, reflecting the light from the surroundings, as well as the inner sphere. The soothing lilac color of the stone lines the soft inner core of the sculpture and enhances the feeling of inner peace. In metaphysical lore, lepidolite represents calmness, joy and serenity.

Scientists combined colors from the light spectrum across galaxies, and computed that the color of the universe is turquoise. This lovely concept has intrigued me and I represent the universe (both inner and outer) in this way with the beautiful illuminated glass sphere, protected by its gently spiraling embrace.