Award-winning British sculptor David Harber has unveiled his biggest pieces of artwork to date for a monumental project at the Operations Complex and headquarters for Denver Water, the utility that provides safe, high quality drinking water for 1.5 million residents of Colorado’s capital city, Denver, and its surrounding suburbs. Commissioned by leading US art consultancy NINE dot ARTS, Harber was invited to design two bespoke sculptures for the site, resulting in a customised version of his classic “Hydra” sculpture and “Water Droplet” – a new and unique sculpture designed exclusively for Denver Water.
Inspired by the gentle, fluid movements found in nature – where Harber draws much of his inspiration – the “Hydra” sculpture is crafted from seven gently curving branches ranging in height from 5.5 to 8 metres. The edges of each vary slightly in depth, and are made using 316 marine grade, mirror polished stainless steel. Meanwhile, the face of each branch is fashioned from the same premium stainless steel material, before being painted in a graduating, ombre effect. The base features a rich, royal blue while the peak is painted a light azure blue to reflect the varying depths of water one may traditionally see in a pool or lake. The base of the sculpture measures over 2 metres in diameter, and is illuminated at night by a central ground light, with five smaller surrounding lights situated around the perimeter of the sculpture. “Hydra” proudly stands tall enough to be visible at the site from all angles, as well as passers-by, providing an artistic focal point.
“Water Droplet,” meanwhile, is located within the entryway to the principal building. It is formed from hundreds of 316 marine grade, mirror polished steel “petals” that have been welded together to create a stunning elongated, giant droplet of water. The interior of the sculpture is painted an alluring shade of blue, and is lit internally with a concealed central uplighter to create a spectacular effect at night. Meanwhile in daylight, the mirrored petals provide reflections of the sky and surrounding grounds. The droplet sits on a gently curved, convex piece of mirror polished stainless steel, offering a number of different reflections when viewed at alternative angles. The entire “Water Droplet” sculpture stands at an impressive 6.6 metres. The beautifully executed, crisp and clean artistic representation of a forming water droplet is reflective of Denver Water’s core values.
Due to the landscaping of the site and the height of newly-planted trees, any sculpture needed to have a significant presence, whilst also blending in and working with the location’s natural surroundings. The choice to bring a sense of movement, light and fluidity to the site resulted in the design of the “Hydra” sculpture, which not only pays homage to the enclosing environment but also the subtly winding course of nearby Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. This infers a link to the ancient physical geography of the area, but also represents a fresh, inspiring, environmentally and socially responsible view of the future.
For more information about David Harber, go to www.davidharber.co.uk.