The Essence of Nous (2015)
Artist: Carolyn Elaine and Sonata Kazimieraitiene
Location: University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Department of Sociology - Main Entrance
Dimensions: 13.5’ X 3.5’
Like ripples created by throwing a stone in a pond, the impact of each individual transcends one’s own social background. Using this concept to represent unity in diversity, we have combined 16 individually sculpted clay relief cultural symbols with other materials such as texture clay relief, stained glass, and repurposed wood. Interconnected and derivative of nous (the source design), these elements create a tactile mosaic artwork anchored by the 16 component pieces.
Our inner desire for benevolence has us crave connections with others around us and beyond. To that end, each artistic component stands on its own yet communicates with the others. Together, these 16 components make a unified visual statement about the vibrations, waves, and energy that one emanates, a statement that determines our collective direction. Albeit separated and dispersed in different directions, they never lose connection to nous.
The 16 hand-sculpted cultural symbols in this artwork were inspired by those sculpted in Nepal by Gopel Sapota for the Universal Peace Wheel located at the Elko Peace Park in Nevada. They include Nsibidi, circle, Yin Yang, Pax Cultura, the Celtic knot, the peace symbol, Mpatapo, the Native American peace symbol, Flower of Life, Funtummireku Denkyemmireku, the olive branch, butterfly, the Inca sun, the peace dove, the Ankh cross, and rainbow.