Kate Raudenbush’s Axis Mundi
“Join the Golden Triangle BID for an artists’ talk and walking tour of Layers + Lines with artists Nekisha Durrett and Kate Raudenbush. The artists will discuss the inspiration for their artworks and their creative processes. Both dates (Saturday, April 13 and Monday, April 15 at 11 a.m.) event are free and open to the public. Each talk and tour will last approximately 1 hour and start at the Connecticut Avenue overlook.”
From a press release:
“The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) opens Layers + Lines, a new public art exhibition on Connecticut Avenue, on April 4, 2019. Bringing together two pieces of art, Up ’til Now by DC-based artist Nekisha Durrett and Axis Mundi by NYC-based artist Kate Raudenbush, the exhibition explores the layers of history in the Golden Triangle neighborhood, the geometries of our built environment, and the lines connecting us to our community.
“We are excited to bring this new public art exhibition to Washington’s central business district,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “Layers + Lines is the latest in the BID’s 10-year history of creating a transformative public art program. Each day, these new artworks will enrich the public space for the neighborhood’s nearly 90,000 workers as well as millions of residents and visitors throughout the year.”
Nekisha Durrett’s Up ’til Now
Up ’til Now is located at the Connecticut Avenue Overlook south of Dupont Circle, while Axis Mundi is installed on Connecticut Avenue NW and K Street.
Durrett’s Up ’til Now evokes the history of the area’s landscape and architecture. It envisions the forests, thickets, marshes, and springs from hundreds of years ago gradually giving way to the roadways, infrastructure, and buildings that shape our built environment today. Looking through the peephole on the front of the structure, one can see a diorama invoking the rolling terrain blanketing DC hundreds of years ago before colonial times. Durrett also summons the Victorian rowhomes later populating this area through the architectural shape and ornamentation of her sculpture.
“The history-laden streets of the Golden Triangle neighborhood are the ideal forum to present a work with themes common in my public installations,” said Durrett. “Up ’til Now confronts the layered meanings that materials and objects hold and the space where fantasy, imagination, and history converge while summoning subject matter that is hidden from plain sight.”
Kate Raudenbush’s Axis Mundi is a futuristic landmark that echoes the shape of an ancient obelisk, a type of monument used to mark places of importance. The sculpture references both the dynamic diagonal patterns of Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s city plan for Washington, DC and star patterns that connect the city to the sky above. This modern obelisk marks the physical place, while a mirrored sphere reflects the people who surround it and form the vital center of our city. Utilizing the sphere as a symbol of a living democracy and of inclusivity, the sculpture shows the power of the people to influence society. Axis Mundi asks: What does it mean to work here, at the axis of one of the world’s most important cities? What is our role in shaping a better world?
Layers + Lines: Golden Triangle Arts is on view from April 4, 2019 through March 2020. The project was supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Additional support was provided by Share Fund.”