When we think of spring blossoms, most imagine delicate, paper-thin petals, coyly showing their faces to the warming sun. Artist attempts to recreate this reemergence of life usually involve pastel colors and fragile materials like porcelain or glass. But Mother Nature is a strong, resilient force, so why should her majesty be relegated to the china shop? Deedee Morrison, one of our favorite sculptors specializing in large public art installations, decided to pay homage to Earth’s annual rejuvenation using a much more powerful medium–industrial grade sheets of recycled aluminum.
Inspired by studying organic forms and the geometric principles that determine their patterns and structures, Morrison’s latest sculpture is an artistic representation of a seed pod coming out of a dormant state to form new life. But it’s more than just a display of nature’s beauty. Seed-Pod is also a visual display of the power and energy that’s available every day in the sun’s warming rays.
The laser cut sculpture is impressive in the day time, but it’s when the sun sets that it really blossoms into a work of art. After dark, the petals of the Seed Pod sculpture are illuminated by a nearby 18ft. solar tower fitted with a Solartech 125 W solar panel. The solar panel, like plants, collects and stores the energy released from the sun and facilitates the transfer of that energy through the charge controller to the battery bank. The charge controller scales down the energy produced to the correct voltage (12v) to charge the batteries. The 12V-DC LED lights only require 10 Watts of power each, which when combined only requires about the equivalent power of a single 110 Watt light bulb.
“Solar sculptures in the right environment are extremely effective ways to demonstrate how solar energy works and can become an icon of sustainability for a city” states Morrison on her website. Currently, the solar-powered sculpture resides near the wetlands at Renaissance Park in Chattanooga, Tenn.