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Truenorth, Tempe, United States

Tuesday 23 Sep 2008

Fiery spirit

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Inspired by the Native American legend on a site steeped with history Mark Ryan Studio‘s Truenorth makes a connection with its past 

Using the geometric center of the Tempe Center for the Arts semi-circular plan, a line was struck on the true north alignment. This axis emanates outward from the project and extends across the water, through the foothills of the Papago Buttes, Camelback Mountain and beyond, connecting to a much larger context. Lining up the two flames, viewed through a strategically placed aperture, connects the individual to this greater perspective.

Early walks on the site revealed something interesting. The ground seemed to sparkle. A photograph of this phenomenon, thought of as a site-specific constellation, was mapped on the surface of the black concrete mass and determined the particular placement of 120 individually cast resin rods. Suspended within each resin rod is some special aspect of the project; sketches from the process, correspondence, screen plays, sheet music, poetry or natural object collected from the site.

The project endeavors to make a meaningful connection with this time and this place, honoring those that have come before, the power of direction, the North Star, the mesmerizing beauty of a simple fire and the timeless enchantment of the night sky.

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Mark Ryan Studio

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