Created and Sold by Matt Babcock

Matt Babcock
Public Sculptures by Matt Babcock seen at Kirkland Justice Center, Kirkland - Crane in its Vigilance
Public Sculptures by Matt Babcock seen at Kirkland Justice Center, Kirkland - Crane in its Vigilance
Image credit: Matt Babcock

Crane in its Vigilance

Item details

bronze and fiber reinforced concrete
completed 2016
17'H x 11'W x 5'D

Site specific artwork that tells a story, honoring the work done by the police and municipal court by referring to an ancient legend and symbol of vigilance. In many cultures cranes are symbols of good fortune, so the piece is an encouraging welcome to the culturally diverse community.

The wetland bird subject relates to the surrounding rain garden, and ground-level features tie the installation into the landscape design.

Since the underlying legend concerns a sentry who never sleeps, nighttime lighting was an important part of the commission. My background in architecture has prepared me well for large, multifaceted public art projects.

My work expresses my interest in materials and the ways things are made. I used a chemical patina to highlight the natural texture of the bronze bars as they come from the factory.

Context & Credits

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Matt Babcock

Meet the Creator

What motivates me is sparking people's curiosity to help them connect with something larger than themselves.

I focus on public art because it has the potential to enrich many people's lives.

I create aerial calligraphy that captures gestures. My work bridges representation and abstraction, with figural subjects that are recognizable by people of all ages and diverse backgrounds. Images often resolve as viewers move and see the work from different perspectives, creating "aha" moments of discovery. Although my work involves a level of abstraction, it is often inspired by nature and based in close observation of plants and animals. I sometimes draw on historical styles and works but always focus on revealing something new.

I was born in Michigan, went to school in Colorado, and live in Seattle. I have studied engineering, studio art, physics, math, welding, and art history. I have held jobs in architecture, antique repair, sign fabrication, and stained glass, among others.

My work as an artist is an extension of my experience as an architect, which includes public design review and permitting as well as extensive and successful collaboration with public agencies, builders, and other stakeholders. I have completed several large public commissions and my work is being shown in a number of parks and cities.

I developed my appreciation for materials and the ways things are made through practice in metal fabrication and application in industry. I have created art in many media, but keep coming back to the metal shop.

I have been making things all my life. When I was five my dad set me up with a workbench and tools. I spent countless hours making things that I thought of as functional, even though the function was often mysterious or imaginary. I haven't changed all that much.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about my work.

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