Barrel Cactus

Peoria, AZ | Stainless Steel, Dichroic Glass | 3 structures @ 4'H x 4'D, 6'H x 6'D, and 10'H x 10'D | 2020

Overview

This public art installation is located in the Arizona desert and is inspired by the state’s desert landscape. The site, visible from a highly-trafficked highway in Peoria, AZ, required an installation that would be visible from a distance and from all corners, as well as viewable in both the daytime and at night. Gordon’s design, titled Barrel Cactus, meets these requirements and compliments the environment by resembling the barrel cacti that are found in the southwestern United States.

The 3 Echinocactus shapes that make up Barrel Cactus are 10ft tall, 6ft tall, and 4 ft tall, each with a polished stainless steel pipe in the center from which six fins of colorful dichroic glass project. Each dichroic glass fin is curved, creating negative spaces within the structural forms of each sculpture, allowing for views both through and around the objects. Fabrication of this sculptural work was, in part, completed by Sebastian Willeke in Germany.

The use of dichroic glass brings fantastic, multi-colored reflective properties to this installation. Light transmitted through the dichroic glass surface of the panels will appear to be one color and light reflected from it will appear as a complementary color. As the angle at which the dichroic glass is viewed changes, the colors that are transmitted and reflected also change.

This creates a dynamic, light-filled, colorful installation that can be viewed from all angles and becomes a signature artwork for not only those who pass by on Lake Pleasant Parkway, but of the City of Peoria, AZ as well.