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(details of artwork at bottom of page)
Artist: Carolyn Braaksma
Title: "River of Grass"
Medium: Mural - Floor design
Size: 116' x 70'
Year Installed: 2003
Venue: Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport
Viewing as a whole, the terrazzo floor design embraces the constant motion that makes the Everglades ecosystem unique. From the green terrazzo flowing into the blue tail of the alligator then on to the indigo waters that swirl through the center of the floor, the design enumerates elements of the ecological puzzle that hold them together: mangroves, alligator, snail, frog, butterfly, fish… "River of Grass", located in Terminal 1, Concourse B, weaves all these elements together into a cohesive representation of the Everglades ecosystem's interdependence and beauty.
"The Everglades is a vast area of skies and clear waters that exists in a delicate balance. This varied ecosystem is unlike any in the world and supports a plethora of wildlife. Because of this uniqueness, it is an excellent point of identification for South Florida.
The images have been chosen for their visual interest, as well as for their roles in the Everglades ecology. Walking across this airport floor evokes an impression of flying over portions of the Everglades, looking into and beneath the surface of this watery grassland. Particular features include:
- Bold, broad areas of color that reflect the hues of the Everglades
- A large scale, curving walkway of alligator tail
- Human scale and finely detailed items, rendered in terrazzo and metal stripping, present an array of natural life from the Everglades. Included are shrimp, crayfish, tree snails, mangrove seeds, turtle, and others
- Four rounds on the right of the picture enlarge circular images of the Everglades:
* Alligator hole - becomes a pond used by fish and microorganisms
* Solution hole - place where limestone has eaten below the water table
* Limestone mound - a base for hardwood hammocks
* Textured areas emulate grasses and mangrove roots
The airport pedestrian traversing this floor will experience the interconnectedness of the Everglades ecosystem. Mangrove roots have an unmistakable shape and pattern that define them; but these roots also provide a home to snails, fish, and other water life. The patterning of the mangrove roots resembles the ubiquitous grasses of the Everglades. As the grand icon of the Everglades, the alligator serves the ecosystem with his pond that provides fishing opportunities for other wildlife in the dry season."
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