Hughen/Starkweather Requiem 7 (from the Bay Bridge Project), 2013 Gouache, pencil, and ink on paper 8.25" x 10.75"
Electric Works: 'Valediction" is the result of a collaboration between local artists
Amanda Hughen and Jennifer Starkweather that focuses on the now
demolished East Span of the Bay Bridge. Their works are delicate,
complex and patterned, mapping the unique grids of human built systems
overlaying the natural movements of the Bay Area.
After four governors, multiple reviews, continual controversy and outrageous cost over runs, the Bay Bridge has finally opened. It is the most complex engineering feat in the history of California and is the largest the largest self-anchored suspension bridge in the world, with a single tower rising 525 feet into the air and transitioning to a graceful skyway that touches down in Oakland.
The Bay bridge — the old part which finally came down this month and the new construction, with its size, scope and design elements — has claimed their attention for over four years. In the future, works like theirs may be the only memory we have of a structure and of a process that dominated the lives of those traveling between Oakland and San Francisco since the Loma Prieta earthquake of October 17, 1989.
In Valediction, the artists explore this idea, as well as the
past and future of the East Span, including its construction 75 years
ago as a railroad bridge, the 1989 earthquake damage that predestined
its eventual replacement, and its future as an abandoned structure on
the Bay as it is dismantled over the next few years.
The artists researched the project through architecture and
engineering drawings, data, maps and diagrams, and historic and current
photographs. They also drew from their own experiences of years of
driving across the bridge.
Hughen/Starkweather create collaborative artworks that explore the
layers, complexities, and patterns that comprise a specific place using
both current and historic information photographs, maps, and data
to research a location. The resulting artworks map unique forms and
patterns derived from built systems and natural movements of a