Light, Words, Life
Artist: Arlon Bayliss, Joyce Brinkman
Date created: 2007
Light, Words, Life is a light and glass installation that welcomes visitors to an elevator lobby at the Indianapolis/Marion County Central Library. Situated in the first floor basement garage, layers of colored light undulate across the length of a 40 foot west wall, leading visitors towards two elevators and a 10 foot square north wall. There, a poem described in colored light encourages library visitors to think of the importance of words and writing. The project focuses on using light as an appropriate metaphor for reflection, illumination and enlightenment. Hidden in the line of colored light on the long west wall are reflections of letters and occasional words taken from the poetry wall.
The artists invited the Indiana Poet Laureate, Joyce Brinkman, to write the poem especially for the project. The full poem reads:
In words won’t
Hide in shadow
It emerges to illuminate life.
Arlon Bayliss studied at the Royal College of Art in London, England. His public art projects include monumental outdoor works and large-scale indoor installations, and his gallery artwork is in collections and exhibitions worldwide. He was a guest artist at Rosenthal Glass and Porcelain in Germany for more than 10 years, and is currently a designer for Blenko Glass in West Virginia. He taught glass in the UK for seven years at Stourbridge College and for more than 20 years as Professor of Art and Design at Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana. His wife and collaborative partner on the artwork, Mary Jo Kramb Bayliss, is an experienced sculptor and educator. They have been working together on projects as the Bayliss Design Team since 2005. Mary Jo also works independently as a public, community and studio artist under the name Blue Monkey House. She received her B.F.A. in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University and her M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and taught at Anderson University for 7 years. The Baylisses are based in Anderson, Indiana.
Joyce Brinkman served as Indiana’s first Poet Laureate from 2002-2008. She has a BA from Hanover College and her poetry has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and on CDs, bookmarks and buses, as well as on a wall in the town square of Quezaltepeque, El Salvador. She is a strong proponent of poetry as public art and enjoys working with both visual and other literary artists on projects. She has received fellowships from Mary Anderson Center for the Arts and the Arts Council of Indianapolis.