Artwork #96

Gather Round in Circles

by Larry Akers, Council District 5

Steel, aluminum, wood, alkyd, LED, 2019

Courtesy of the Artist

Fluid imagery animated by the viewer's movements has been a consistent theme of my artwork. A couple of years ago I had been experimenting with layers of perforated metal when I decided to build a cabinet to hold two sheets for wall mounting. Light between the sheets was needed to make the moire effect visible. When I strung LEDs around the perimeter of the frame, I was flabbergasted by the illusion of expansive, deep space that was created by the illuminated rosettes. This idea led me to create a series of internally lit panels for a hallway installation at The Thinkery. An interesting aspect of these is that the rosette patterns, which appear to get larger as the viewer moves away from the piece, become so large as to span the entire frame when the viewer too far away. For one of the panels that could be seen from afar, I needed a piece that exhibited the usual moire pattern when viewed up close but would project another related pattern to a much greater distance. Using a third panel centerpiece with larger perforations allowed this to happen. For Gather Round in Circles, I chose a circle as the shape of the centerpiece. The image called to mind a storyteller's invitation to gather around in a circle. Of course, the smaller images within the circle are composed of circles themselves, and the little rosettes are ringed with crescents that are formed by other circles. Hence the title. I like that the circle in the middle reaches out to draw the viewer in, into the circle, you might say.