Grus Pacifica


Grus Pacifica, bird silhouettes on windows.

 Artist:  Harry Reese

Title:  "Grus Pacifica"

Medium:  Integrated Art - Installation w/multiple components

Size:  Lobby 210', Children's Area 211'

Year Installed:  2006

Venue:  Hollywood Branch Library



The front lobby area of the Library, visitors encounter several majestic Whooping Cranes along several glass wall panels, silhouetting against a background of names of extinct bird species printed on handmade paper. At the Children's area toward the back of the Library, a flock of cranes flying with an ultra-light plane is illustrated on a glass wall. Three glass doors of different size with images of crane, along with a series of photographs in a display case showing steps of folding paper crane in a manner of Japanese "origami" complete this artistic installation.

Lobby, Children's Story Telling Room

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Artist Statement

"For this art installation, we created the term Gus Pacifica or Crane of Peace to honor the world tradition of folded paper cranes and to celebrate the extraordinary conservation efforts of the U.S. Wildlife Service, the International Crane Foundation, and Operation Migration, (among many others) in saving the Whooping Crane population and in serving as a model of reverence for life on this planet.

The lobby installation is constructed from our handmade paper. Images of Whooping Cranes (scientific name Grus Americana)- the tallest North American bird, whose total population was reduced to as low as 20 in 1940 - were cut from large sheet of handmade paper or cast from handmade paper. They were laminated between glass panes for the lobby wall and for the three doors in the Children's Room. Names of known extinct species of birds were printed on paper that we handmade from fibers and materials that are similar to those found in habitats of Whooping Cranes - hemp, abaca (banana leaf), cattails, kaolin, raw organic pigments. The paper was handmade in our studio at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The quintessential symbol of conservation, Whooping Cranes have recovered significantly within the last 65 years. Active intervention on the part of the United States government, the Canadian government, and many conservation groups and dedicated individuals helped pull this flock from the brink of extinction, so that by 2006 the Whooping Crane population numbers nearly 500 birds in the wild and in captivity.

The large circle contains 999 pieces of folded handmade paper. Starting with a square, each successive ring of the concentric circles shows another stage in the folding of the paper crane. The folded paper crane is perhaps the most popular and famous of all origami objects. A Japanese legend tells that 1,000 folded paper cranes will bring health and good fortune. That legend has circulated around the world, and it is customary for individuals and groups to make 1,000 paper cranes as they think about loved ones who are ill, hoping that they will heal and recover.

It is our hope that this installation will remind us that while our civilization both advances and destroys with technology, we can heal ourselves and our victims with art."


Photo Gallery

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