When I was at the library in Cleveland I stopped in a reading garden between the two big library buildings. In it were a number of small sculptures, but the enormous size, bold colours and braille on this one really caught my eye. I went looking for a plaque telling about the details and found the following info:
Common Energy seeks to provide the community with a message of positivity, inclusivity, and love. In the midst of a volatile political climate it is crucial to practice tolerance, compassion, and kindness toward ourselves and others. The inspiration for Common Energy is based on Tibetan prayer wheels, cylindrical wheels inscribed with Buddhist mantras on the surface. This wheel is based loosely on the Buddhist phrase ‘Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu’, or, ‘may all beings be happy and free’. Interacting with the prayer wheels simply requires the act of spinning the cylinders in order to send positive messages out to the world.
Native to Northeast Ohio, Lauren Herzak-Bauman studied ceramics at The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (MFA 2009) and Bowling Green State University (BFA 2004). She has spent the last several years making large-scale installations that examine materiality and production using porcelain clay. The unifying theme throughout Lauren’s work is creating a transformative experience for those who encounter her installations or public pieces.
I love the spirit behind this. If there was ever a time it was needed in the US it’s now.