The Slutty Eye: Inward Urge

Wind Cradle looks like six giant blades of grass, or the magnified cartoon facial hairs in a razor commercial. The thrill of the piece is seeing something so small and delicate rendered as a monument in stainless steel. But indestructible as it looks, fashion has conspired against Wind Cradle. The work of New Mexico native and UW MFA grad Ali Baudoin, it was installed in 1976, when earnestly rendered organic forms in the Henry Moore tradition weren't exactly the latest thing. And it has a brushed-steel surface of the kind that has since become emblematic of tacky condo facades. It's an unfortunate association for this lustrous, durable material that changes colors with the sky even after 30 years of being left out in the rain. Battleship gray when it's overcast, Wind Cradle is bluish-silver on sunny afternoons. Scandalously overlooked by Brian Miller in his recent survey of local public art ("Found Objects," SW, April 28), it seems these days to serve mainly as a kiosk for stickers and flyers. Wind Cradle doesn't look like it cares about its neglect, or the mockery its dippy name might attract. Making little effort to assert itself against the open space, it continues in its impervious way to be pushed gently inward by some unseen force. 

 
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