Bonneville Reliquary Bend

10 trout swim in groups and singly through the new Sugar House Monument Plaza in Salt Lake City.

In 2014 I was commissioned by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City to create Bonneville Reliquary Bend for the newly refurbished Sugar House Monument Plaza, 1100 East 2100 South, Salt Lake City, UT. 
This new series of ten bronze sculptures of Bonneville Cutthroat trout (Utah's State fish) swim singly and in groups that align in hoops allegorical of a river. The work references the lost riparian ecosystems of the West, in particular Parley's Creek which is diverted underground one block to the east and flows directly under the plaza, and the underground Canal System constructed for agriculture in the 19th century which flows through the area.  The Bonneville cutthroat was native to the ancient Lake Bonneville.  This trout species can still be found in mountain lakes and streams. As urban sprawl makes harder demands on the delicate local ecosystem, the last remnants of biodiversity vanish unnoticed.
 
This new group of ten trout align with and complete two previous groups; Bonneville Reliquary (2005) of five trout one block to the West along 2100 South, and Bonneville Reliquary Upstream (2009) of five trout two blocks to the East along 2100 South. 
 
This area has seen big transformations in the past few years, with a trolley linked to the larger lightrail network, resulting in blocks of modern apartments and restaurants anchoring the plaza. The new urban design removed a street for right turns & parking, and put in a pedestrian friendly plaza showcasing Millard Filmore Malin’s historic monument The Founders of Pioneer Industry (1930-34) with its fountain restored, and separate water feature to cool pedestrians. 
 
To see the process of creating and installing the commission: https://dangerhart.wordpress.com/category/public-art-2/cutthroat-public-art/
This is the largest group on the plaza. There are two groupings of paired fish at the opposite end of the plaza, aligned in the same bioswale strip. Three fish without hoops swim about the wider space of the plaza.
This pair aligns with the pair below at the West end of the plaza. The even patination is achieved by airbrush.
I vaired the patina on the various groupings of fish. This mottled layering is a stipple tecnique. 
This single swimmer is another variation of patina, mixing stippling with spray bottle application.
 
Set at pedestrian level, and at window height for passing cars, the sculptures are rich with details and textures. Inside their mouths are flat serrated teeth and their fishy tongue.
The patina is built up layer upon layer to maintain a sense of transparency, giving the fish a sense of wet depth.
The hoop streambeds have a patina that complement the fish. By using warm tones and a matte finish on the hoops, the fish separate visually and appear wet by comparison. 
Just above the creek bed of bronze stone, and before reaching the reeds- notice the delicate inlay of wildflowers. They wrap around to the outside of the hoops as well.
The transparency and layering of patina allows shifting daylight to alter the percieved color of the fish. Sometimes they shift to a chalky white as seen here, or apple green as in images above, and at times they appear a bright blue.
This clear and cold January afternoon light has the trout just under the shadow of the apartments across the plaza, and they become a luminous blue.   
Each of the 10 trout on the plaza are in a different pose, achieved by pulling each wax version from an adjustable silicon mold. This is a painstaking process, but the result is a sense of everchanging motion as one moves around the sculpture. Look between this image and the one below, and see if you note any subtle shifts.
This big group of three swims toward E/W crosswalk. Seen just over this group is the dorsal fin of the previous single swimmer. The fish are placed to correspond visually, as well as directionally.
This pair swim away from one another, while the other pair swim toward one another.
The gold and brown dots along their backs contrast nicely with the mottled green patina.
This is the view from the passenger window of passing cars stopped at the light.
The new Sugar House Plaza, so new it is still under construction. I installed the fish with a small team of volunteers when Plaza construction was pretty far along. The group of three fish swim up behind the stoplight pole, and a single fish swims to the left of center. 6 more fish are on the far side of the plaza, beyond the remaining construction zone (the sunlit bit of the plaza that is fenced in).
He swims past the SE entry to the plaza, welcoming pedestrians.
A view of the triple group from the crosswalk heading onto the Plaza travelling South bound.
Triple group swims along side traffic. Farther behind them are two more pair swimming along side the traffic.
At the West end of the plaza, manning the crosswalk, this single swimmer turns upstream to follow the rest of the school.
The West end from across the street using the mid-block crosswalk.
They align nicely with the old Granite Furniture sign, refurbished and spinning again!
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