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"The Egyptian Sibyl," monumental wire sculpture

"The Egyptian Sibyl," monumental wire sculpture

"Thirsts" wire sculpture, view two

"Thirsts" wire sculpture, hybrid view

"The Egyptian Sibyl" - Steel rods, 20 feet by 17 feet

 

"The Egyptian Sibyl" is a monumental wire sculpture, over 20 feet in length, that is mounted on a rooftop in Cairo, Egypt. I built it at the end of a three year period living in Cairo -- a very tumultuous time that saw three different Presidents come and go. It was inspired by Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In this stunning work, Michelangelo depicts scenes from Genesis, prophets, as well as the Sibyls of antiquity. The Sibyls were women that possessed the power of prophecy and were found in the oracles of the ancient world. The Libyan Sibyl resided at the oracle in Siwa. The Delphic Sibyl was found at the oracle in Delphi, in Greece. The Sibyls were symbols of wisdom, of sensitivity, and intuition. Deeply inspired by this, I decided to create another Sibyl, the Egyptian Sibyl, to convey a similar feeling of freedom, knowledge, and vision. Flanked by papyrus flowers, she turns a page while gazing upward, enraptured in a moment of thought, light shining in her eyes. It is my sincere hope that the same sense of optimism, wisdom, and gentle freedom will guide Egypt towards its remarkable future.

"The Egyptian Sibyl," as a sculpture, resembles a freestanding line drawing. By bending over 100 steel rods by hand, four assistants and I constructed the piece over a 3-month period in the spring of 2014. I am constantly amazed by the skies in Cairo. They are alternately blaring and soft, gentle and harsh, delicate blue and intense yellow. And I can't imagine a more wonderful canvas on which to draw. As the steel traces lines across the sky, the mood of the sculpture changes as the light does. When the sky is lit on fire with sunset yellows, oranges, and reds, the canvas for this vast drawing will be similarly vibrant. When the sky is overcast, softened, and pale with greys and blues, the canvas will be just as softened and meditative.