The Facts: In this collection exist a few pieces that stand slightly above the others. This is one of those works. Standing 12" tall, this precision-made creation is crafted from a block of aerospace-grade aluminum. The top piece (two rings) is polished to mirrored perfection, while the base bears a brushed, rough-hewn quality meant to exist at odds with the top.
Subjective Interpretation: The contradiction of high-gloss and brushed opaqueness existing between the top piece and base, respectively, is a clever juxtaposition which we feel captures the rigors, the demand, and the quest for absolute perfection in the aerospace industry--particularly with respect to the engineering aspect. The brushed style of the base revels in its imperfections (see detail below) while the top piece is the model of perfection; the finished product. The existence of circles, or rings, in relation to one another is a prevailing theme of aircraft manufacturing. Whether you're looking at the tiniest bearings and washers or aircraft engines, power units, wheels & breaks and actuators, rings are everywhere. And they are all working in tandem to make the marvel of flight a reality. Circularity could also be a commentary on flight itself.
Creative Note: You may be wondering why the text on the base looks so soft and unobtrusive compared to the usual bold style in this series. Simple: This is not your usual piece in the series. This epic creation allows nothing to draw attention away from its unique physicality--not even the monumental event it celebrates. This is not a commentary on the order of importance of things (far from it), but rather it is testament to the power and singularity of this creation.
Here is a closer look at the front of the base, where the text is etched in aerospace aluminum. The desired effect was created by hand-brushing, painstakingly, not before the engraving was made, but after!
The hand-brushing process was carried out to create the appearance of straight lines from the front... but when you hold a light up to the area two decisive circles exist in the brush strokes below each of the two rings atop the base. It is an extension of the circular theme and a reinforcement of the design.
Here is a close-up of the other side of the base front (in relation to the image above) where you can see the matching set of semi-circular brush strokes.
The rear of the piece allows a different, lower-layer view of the material used to create this piece. Once again, this was achieved by hand.
A cornerstone of The Life & Work of Henry Halladay art awards series.