Monday, October 29, 2012



Today's stop on the occasional tour of transit mall art takes us to the far north end of the transit mall, near Union Station, home to the scattered pieces of Cairns. From TriMet's Green Line public art guide:

To create her series of sculptures for the Union Station area, Christine Bourdette was inspired by the man-made stacks of stones that have traditionally served as landmarks for navigation and as memorials. Cairns consists of a series of five stacked-slate forms that mark the path to the light rail stations near Glisan at NW 5th and 6th.

I can't say I have a strong opinion either way about any of the individual cairns or the collection as a whole. Your eyes just tend to sort of gaze right past them. But up close you notice the texture of the stone, which I absolutely love. I see lots of search results for "stacked slate", which seems to mean pieces of slate split perpendicular to their natural grain. It's a neat look but possibly not an infinitely versatile one; a commercially available garden fountain I ran across looks just like Cairns, but smaller and with water spilling out the top.

Cairns Cairns Cairns Cairns Cairns Cairns

1 comment :

Jennifer Quirky Momma said...

Gorgeous. I heart Portland more and more every day.