Public Art Projects / Sacramento International Airport, Sacramento, CA



Rabbit – Size: 56ft x 11.5ft x 24ft  /  Material: Aluminum and crushed glass
Suitcase – Size: 8ft x 6ft x 2.5ft  /  Material: Green granite and bronze
Location: Terminal B of Sacramento International Airport, Sacramento, CA  /  Sacramento Arts Commission

Completed: 2011

Photos: Ed Asmus Photography

Air Travel - Drive, desire, anticipation, anxiety, hope, despair, frustration, exhaustion, patience, contentment, success, joy, and attachment are many of the nouns that describe some of the emotions that rattle in our personal baggage as we transit through the hubs of air travel.

What surfaced repeatedly as I looked into what I was attempting to create to interact with the space, emerged from the amplified meaning associated with "baggage", literally and metaphorically. Oh, how pleasurable it is when we see our bags surface from the mouth of the conveyor. The joy in the sense of reconciliation, the part that was separated is now joined to form the happy union of owner and owned. It is spit out, on the rotating tarmac; yes it's yours, the elation, relief, the ode to now being complete after the "journey".  You feel one again.

So, I moved forward thinking about the connection we all feel when we travel with our "stuff'. Lose it, misplace it and disaster can erupt. Possess it, and it tills the gap of distance from home. Then what is it about our baggage that defines the nature of this emotion of connection with our "stuff' and who we are? There is a common and universal easement on the literal, of course but then this is seeded and uniquely tailored by us as individuals. We all have different "stuff' that is our comfort, but that "stuff fuels a plethora of metaphorical implications and associations that give rise to us as individualistic entities that participate in the world.

It is this "connection" that drove me towards finding two things that could exude in essence, a need for equivalent resolve, two parts that make a whole. After much deliberation I chose a rabbit and a suitcase with an opening, a void.

Airports are usually surrounded by cement or other buildings associated with passenger travel i.e. hotels, concrete, runways, nearby shopping malls or storage facilities. Sacramento Is unique in that the architects have chosen to leave some of the ground unoccupied by facilities and have incorporated an accessible landscaped space. With a mindset of integrating art in to the wonderful and illuminating architecture and utilizing the unique open/transparent aspect of the airport with the green space to the south. I thought it quite apt to bring the outside in. A rabbit appears to have leapt through the glass from the green space on the south side of the terminal and is diving into a suitcase that appears to have a liquid vortex opening on the top which It situated on the floor of baggage claim.

The rabbit works on many levels for I was fascinated by the charge it has taken with Its powerful symbolism throughout civilization. (Coincidentally there is what if called a Riparian Rabbit that is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species list that Is specific to the Sacramento region.) It is an animal thought to bring good luck.