March 23, 2016

"Enduring Spell" : New mural for the University of California, San Diego

This is a new mural commissioned by the University of California, San Diego. The mural is titled "An Enduring Spell" and is located at the interior courtyard of Argo Hall, on UC San Diego's Revelle College campus. The namesake of the college is the late oceanographer Roger Revelle, one of the first scientists to study climate change:

The ocean holds me in an enduring spell. Part of the spell comes from mystery – the fourfold mystery of the shoreline, the surface, the horizon, and the timeless motion of the sea. At the horizon, where my line of sight touches the edge of the great globe itself, I watch ships slowly disappear, first the hulls then the tall masts, bound on voyages to unknown ports 10,000 miles away. From beyond the horizon come the waves that break rhythmically on the beach, sounding now loud, now soft, as they did long before I was born and as they will in the far future. The restless, ever-changing ocean is timeless on the scale of my life, and this also is a mystery.

- Roger Revelle, 1969

The majority of my life so far has been spent in cities either by the Pacific Ocean or in the Sonoran Desert, and I think my familiarity with the two environments and their contrasts has instilled a deep appreciation in me for both. 
The ocean, with all its unexplored depths, can inspire us to ponder the immensity of this world and our place in it. Our smallness next to the ocean demands our humility and respect. The ocean allows life, sustains our existence, and so we love it and are indebted to it, forever connected to it.
This sense of fascination and connection with the sea was my inspiration for this work

This and my mural for Northeastern University in Boston last year were both important projects for me, as one of my motivations for painting public art is to uplift and inspire others the way I was uplifted and inspired by great art when I was young. Painting murals for learning institutions is a chance to create art that will become part of the landscape for thousands of students, and I am grateful for these opportunities to impart some artistic soul in such important places.

Many thanks to UCSD, Emily Desai, Juli Smith, and anyone else that helped make this possible.
Photos by Eric Heights


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