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Baile Oakes
Gestation, Santa Monica, CA, 1990

Baile Oakes   Gestation, Winter Solstice sunset, Santa Monica, CA, 1990
Baile Oakes


Santa Monica, California

During the gestation period of my wife's and my first child, I designed a sculpture for the city of Santa Monica for Palisades Park. A park that defines the border of the city, continent, and ocean. I wanted to create a sculpture that would address the dynamics of this meeting place, and at the same time, invite the public into an intimate dialogue with the work. I wanted the sculpture to be one you could enter, sit and play within, a nurturing sanctuary. I also wanted it to serve as a beacon to foster an understanding of the basis of all life on the planet: the cycle of the Sun.

Gestation is located on the edge of the continent and its central opening frames the elements of water, sunlight, earth, and air-the dynamic relationships that foster creation, regeneration, and birth. The form of the sculpture grows from this circular central opening into a structure that allows visitors to enter the form and rest within its quiet embrace.

From the perspective of looking southwest toward the horizon line of the ocean and sky, the central element of the sculpture appears to close, forming a thin vertical aperture. When the Sun appears in the top of this aperture, it announces the beginning of the solstice season. Each day the Sun will appear lower in this aperture until the day of the Winter Solstice. On this day the Sun sets exactly in the middle of this opening, marking the celebration of the rebirth of the life of the Sun-the conception of the coming birth of Spring.

This work is visitable. Click here to see a MapQuest map and driving directions

© 2010