The sculpture idea titled Drifting would best be located in a more “open” area on the University of Washington: Bothell campus. An area that is not busy would be ideal, and there should be plenty of space (several yards) between the piece and the school’s buildings. The sculpture consists of circular loop of polished gabbro that is five feet across, two feet tall, and one foot thick—this loop serves conceptually as a social barrier, and practically as a bench. This surrounds a flat disc of gabbro in the center that is one foot in diameter and rests on the ground. A bronze cast of driftwood protrudes from this disc and extends two feet diagonally upward, symbolizing the isolation of homeless individuals and their struggles against isolation. Both circular gabbro pieces will be “anchored” by metal rods and cement. This work would hopefully create a quiet place for students to study and reflect.
In exploring homelessness for this course, one aspect that continued to show up was the isolation homeless individuals feel. They are isolated from the rest of society and in many cases are not only lacking physical resources, but also mental and emotional resources. There is a separation between homeless individuals and others, making the situation difficult to approach. It is my goal to bring attention to these issues and allow individuals to ask questions about what it means to be isolated. There are so many ways to be alone, and sometimes being alone long enough can take a toll on someone, as several homeless individuals mentioned in different interviews. Most of us are so used to having access to social interaction—it’s difficult to imagine what it would be like to not have that resource, even for a short amount of time! I feel it would be beneficial to encourage discussions about such isolation in homeless individuals for everyone.