Hello and welcome to Planet Koryn issue 2

This is a review of my public art installations from the last ten years through 2015, all of them interactive and site-specific with the intent to convey a community voice and iconic appeal.  I am in awe of the fact that 2015 marks my fortieth year as a public artist and designer. So far, it has been a career rich in inspiration, collaboration, and passion for community. Looking back, I seem to only remember how much fun it’s been. 

Today, I still draw from many sources, combining similar visual elements to create a fluid visual language, a practice that began when I was a kid building models and gathering natural objects. My voice has become clearer, and my work has evolved while remaining rooted in simplicity, multiple elements and the lyrical power of repetition. My exploration of materials continues and expands to create environments that tell visual stories which resonate for each community.

Nature provides me with the richest patterns of all: the metaphor of earth and sky in ‘Mandala Sunrise’, water in ‘Sky River Trees’ and wind in ‘Guiding Sails’ -- all held up by tree-like forms. Trees enthrall me for their strength, with all their arms and hands reaching up to the sky, therefore, “I do trees.” My installations are fun, educational and pertinent to their architectural 'home’ and sense of place, reimagining public spaces to provide opportunities for connectivity and interaction.

A few years ago, the great composer Stephen Sondheim’s words inspired me. He spoke of his work being ‘only as strong as his collaborators’, and of succeeding with accomplishments by ‘choosing his collaborators wisely’. My greatest collaborators come from the public process, through the people I have worked with who support community advocacy.  

My unique voice and skills came out of my University of Washington education in fine art as well as architecture and engineering, and learning from the late, great Buckminster Fuller. I use a ‘kit of parts’ concept, incorporating component parts into elements, installed as continuous systems. This approach drives my ability to create environmental works, realized in two and three dimensions, as well as a combination of both. 

I approach each installation as an architect, with a vision for the structural details of the work. Designing a project and how it fits with its surrounding architecture and natural environment is an essential part of my voice. But, the heart of each project and how it relates to the public, who will see and live with it when all is done, is created from the soul and emotion of an artist.

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