Solar Flare
Solar Flare
steel and aluminum
HWD 11’ x 6’ x 2’
2016

Riverbend Plaza, Napa, California

Solar Flare (from chaos to symmetry)

Napa Art Walk alum Patricia Vader created this piece by “carefully selecting 36 pieces out of a chaotic pile of bicycle wheels.” For the top half of the sculpture she describes as a “a silvery sun perched atop a copper pedestal or fireworks burst being shot from a cannon. Consider that the sun is not in fact a simple sphere with a well-defined edge as we tend to see it when it rises or sets but a broiling chaotic self-gravitating mass with flares shooting out from its surface.”

To symbolize this flare activity, Vader attached the larger wheels to a thick central rim while allowing the other, smaller wheels to turn freely. Patricia grew up in Holland and says the smaller wheels remind her of “windmills that spin in the slightest breeze”.

In terms of perspective, Vader explains that, “viewing the work from the front, we see an arresting image of perfect symmetry”. However, from the side, “we see what it takes to make this symmetry: a chaotic jumble of spokes - that will appeal to anyone stoked about spokes!”