Centro Columbo Sculptures
We were commissioned by the owners of Centro Columbo in Lisbon to create three original sculptures to be displayed at the mall’s main entrances. They wanted the sculptures to function on several different levels. In terms of the design aesthetic, they envisioned dynamic pieces that evolve in their complexity upon multiple viewings but that also clearly represent the rich heritage of the “Old World” while celebrating the forward-looking vision for the “New World”. From a practical stand point, the sculptures needed to help orient visitors to the mall by providing them with a point of reference as to where they came in.
The first of two sculptures we built to represent the New World is a garden of giant flowers and leaves made from aluminum frames, stretched nylon fabric and vacuum-formed acrylic petals. A five foot butterfly that features color changing LEDs appears to flutter amongst the flowers some thirty feet above the mall floor. Another sculpture representing the new world features three majestic Macaw parrots all taking flight at once. These exotic birds are actually made from laser-cut, rolled steel plate and painted with a shimmering green metallic finish. The central piece, which represents the Old World, is a stylized depiction of a Portuguese Caravel sailing ship. Upon inspection from other angles however, additional shapes within the sculpture reveal a conquistador’s helmet and sabre. Made of massive rolled steel pipe and adorned with zippered lycra/spandex sails that can be removed for easy cleaning, this visually imaginative work manages to honor both its countries rich, maritime history as well as the sensibilities of a thriving, modern day Portugal.
Speaking the same language, at least when it comes to realizing a client’s artistic vision, is something we do all the time here at Dillon Works. “Commercial” art, like the inspired pieces at the Centro Columbo mall, is no different from any other in its capacity to provoke reflection and stir emotions. We care deeply about getting it just right.