Friday, September 20, 2013

Nepali Window

Nepali Window

I was walking along SW Alder a while back and noticed this mysterious object on the side of the Central Plaza parking garage, between 3rd & 4th. It looked sort of art-like, somehow, but there wasn't a sign anywhere giving a title or artist, so I filed it away as a mystery. Then I was looking at the 2007 downtown public art map I've mentioned a few times here, putting together a list of things that I haven't posted about yet (and it was a surprisingly short list). One of the unblogged items was something called Nepali Window, which I realized was in the right general area as the mysterious parking garage object. Which does sort of look like a window if you squint just right, come to think of it. So I googled the title and artist, found a few photos, and realized I had a winner, and thus a blog post was born. So that's the exciting internet search saga behind what you're reading now.

Nepali Window / Central Plaza garage

Nepali Window is a 1989 piece by the late Bonnie Bronson, who was married to Lee Kelly of Leland 1 fame. (She created the orange metal side panels on Leland One, which are the best part of the thing.) Apparently this piece was part of a larger series inspired by travels in Nepal; OHSU has a companion piece in its vast art collection, slthough the photo seems to indicate it's tucked away in a conference room or something. I also ran across a Bronson sculpture on eBay that references the OHSU Nepali Window and gives a bit more background about it.

Nepali Window

So the name got me wondering: Is this anything like what an actual window in Nepal looks like? I mean, obviously it's abstract art and whatnot, and it's a bit déclassé asking what it "looks like" or what it's "about". But, y'know, I was curious. I actually thought about asking a Nepali coworker and maybe doing the very first interview this humble blog's ever had. But I quickly realized he'd just tell me to google it and stop asking stupid questions. So I did. Short answer: Actual windows in Nepal look nothing like this, except for being square-ish most of the time. But they're interesting in their own right, and possibly I ought to be crowdfunded to go investigate further, maybe.

Before I knew the name or had any info about Nepali Window, I was thinking I'd do a post about the "mystery artwork" anyway, and then mostly talk about the parking garage since I didn't know anything about the sculpture itself. So I dug around in the Oregonian archives a bit and found a few articles about the garage. One of the articles had a cool retro under-construction photo of it, so that and the rest of the history stuff ended up in a post over on pdx tales, this humble blog's equally humble history sibling.

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