Flying Carpet

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“Flying Carpet”; Wool and nylon carpet; 18.5’W x 150’L; Sacramento International Airport

This project consists of an aerial view of the Sacramento River that is woven into a carpet for the floor of a pedestrian bridge connecting the terminal to the parking garage. This image represents approximately 50 miles of the Sacramento River starting just outside of Colusa, California and ending about 6 miles south of Chico.

In addition to recalling the experience of flight and flying, this piece, by depicting the larger geographical area, also helps to reinforce a sense of belonging and/or connection for the traveler. In this way, the carpet can also be read and experienced as a “welcome mat” for visitors arriving in Sacramento.

The siting of this piece on a bridge also helps to highlight a few other conceptual aspects of the work. A bridge is a connection between two destinations; it is not a destination in and of itself; it is neither here, nor there. Consequently, it is similar to an airplane, or a river connecting one place to another; here to there; a moment of flight frozen in mid air; a flowing river that takes us along with its current to another destination. In this way, the piece also creates a koanic relationship between a river and a bridge, since their ordinary positions have been turned around, and it is now the river that is on/above the bridge.

By working with carpeting in this context, I have been able to transform something quite ordinary into an extra-ordinary aesthetic experience. This apparently simple gesture, integrates multiple layers of harmonious meanings and references, in order to stimulate a conceptual dialog. Ultimately, however it was my intention with this project to present a fun and humorous situation for laughter and play, where travelers will feel rejuvenated and reminded of the magic of flight.

With Special Thanks to Charles Nelson-Cal State Chico and Ulster Carpet