A new, magical, larger-than-life creation has landed in Hayes Valley, just a short half mile from NEMA! After a year overlooking Patricia's Green, Charles Gadeken's stunning tree-like structure "Squared" has been taken down after a farewell event. In its place will rise a new creation: "Tara Mechani," a 17-foot figurative female sculpture by San Francisco-based artist Dana Albany. The sculpture will be displayed in the same location as "Squared," resting on an octagonal wooden platform. Unlike "Squared," it won't change colors, but it will glow in "soft, warm colors" at night, Albany said.
First displayed two years ago at Burning Man, Tara Mechani is a figurative sculpture that entwines aspects of the ancient female Buddha, Tara, with characteristics of a futuristic female robot. The sculpture's art deco aesthetic is inspired by the robot Maria from the classic silent film Metropolis.
According to the artist, Tara is a composite of recycled machine parts, hinges, hardware, keys, locks, door handles, stainless steel, cable, chain, gears, cogs, copper, brass, hints of glass, tools and old artifacts immaculately blended. She is a medley of nontraditional materials which were all collected from local San Francisco businesses that have either vanished or changed hands. 80% of the materials used for Tara were recycled. These precious bits and pieces from former local artisans and craftsmen hold history and magic.
Inside the sculpture, a custom-built chandelier made out of repurposed brass chandelier arms that have been bent and reworked to wrap elegantly around her sides to shape her rib cage. The light fixture lets off a glow meant to represent the shining of the statue's "heart and soul," hearkening back to a different era that feels exquisite and timeless, according to the artist.
"Playing with the contemporary fascination with technology, the artwork infuses the mechanical with the compassion and empathy associated with the ancient deity. Tara Mechani challenges us to embrace the future without losing sight of past beauty and ancient wisdom," writes the artist, Dana Albany.
"Tara Mechani" will occupy Patricia's Green through June 2020, according to the San Francisco Arts Commission.
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