‘A Piece of Work: AquaPoint’
Local Arts Reviews
Reviewed by Molly Beth Brenner, Fri., May 14, 2004
Sculpture in limestone and glass by Damian Priour
Austin Museum of Art Laguna Gloria, permanent display
It's an arrow pointing to the sky, diminutive from a distance. In sharp, classical lines hewn from white Texas limestone, the sculpture juts from the front lawn of Laguna Gloria's Driscoll Villa like a clean-lined cursor giving directions to the sun. It's not overly arresting in the shadow of the other, more hulking pieces on the lawn; you might overlook it if you're in a hurry. But if you're leisurely walking the park's gravel path, it's hard to walk by without pausing.
AquaPoint is a fountain sculpture, but instead of spouting or streaming water, this arrow drips water from its shoulders, creating a sound that's most like the thick drops from house eaves on a rainy day. The drops fall in a diffuse sprinkling across the length of the square reflecting pool below, causing a sheet of perfectly elliptical, evenly spaced circles in the water. From here, the gentle glint of falling water draws the eye upward again toward the tip of the arrow.
From far away, this piece seems supremely neoclassical. But when you're up close to AquaPoint, its asymmetries and not-so-classical details zoom into view: the crumbling edges of its base and crest, the naturally irregular shell-shaped gouges of the limestone, and, perhaps most strikingly, the two globular chunks of aqua glass at the arrow's eye and heart. It's these details that make AquaPoint an exercise in both sublime order and the pockets of chaos that define our natural world.