Fog Lilies is an art project composed of a series of hand painted murals which will adorn the upper areas of the West (Great Highway) and North (Sloat Ave) facing façades of the Westside Pump Station.
The design of the murals will feature a “stacked” floral composition, created by using gradient tones in a style reminiscent of embroidered floral patterns. The flowers featured in this particular design will be Cala Lilies, otherwise known as Alcatraz flowers. The Cala lily is a flower that is common throughout California. In San Francisco, it is prevalent in the Sunset District and Golden Gate Park. It is grown as a centerpiece in gardens, and also grows like a weed on the side of our roads. The Cala lily has been an inspiration in art and architecture of this region for centuries, from Mission era paintings, to the Cala Lily lamps in front of the De Young Museum.
The Cala lily is a simple and elegant flower that conveys a sense of purity and cleanliness. Fog Lilies is an artwork that aims to connect to a broader art and architectural tradition of incorporating natural elements into architectural forms to define the function of the building. In this case, the clean form of the Cala lily is meant to evoke a sense of purity which references the cleansing and treatment functions that the pump station performs.
The design is meant to integrate the elegant flowing lines of the Cala lily into the rectilineal architecture of the pump station. The color palette will feature colors which accurately represent the colors of the lily, but also evoke the often cool and overcast environment of Ocean Beach. The choice of soft grey/ green colors is meant to reference the cool colors of the concrete structure itself. The idea is that the murals will feel like part of the building, rather than images painted on the building.
This design draws from a style I have been developing for about 5 years. One of the primary inspirations for this painting style is embroidery patterns from the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. In recent years, I have worked with this type of patterning to try to create something new and evocative of other cultures as well. In doing so, I am trying to create new work that feels like traditional folk art that could be from anywhere; perhaps Mexico, or perhaps Nepal, or even the Bay Area.
With my newer mural projects, I have been trying to make work that integrates into the architecture and color scheme of the building. I’ve been aiming to make work that feels like it belongs on the wall. Instead of making work that pops off the wall, I’ve been working with the idea of making work that feels like it has lived on the wall for some time. This design is meant to be simple in concept, but with a complex process of painting. It is meant to have an enduring quality, light on narrative, and intended to integrate into the surrounding environment. It’s meant to be pretty as well.
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