In Light of Justice II
by KEN LEAP________________________
Bernalillo County Courthouse installation
This sculpture was funded by the Bernalillo County 1% for Public Art Program. KEN LEAP, In Light of Justice II, 2001. In the 4th floor atrium of the Bernalillo County Courthouse in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Float glass, stainless steel, and granite, 9' x 6' x 9'.
In Light of Justice II, installed in the 4th floor atrium of the Bernalillo County Courthouse, was designed with consideration for the architecture and interior design of the building, the uses of the courthouse, and a bit of New Mexico history. This sculpture incorporates a new technique in glass developed by the artist called refractive relief sculpture.
Circular forms are used in the sculpture in response to the curvature of the building's center section and the circular floor pattern in the atrium. A fabricated stainless-steel frame stands on a faceted granite base, 6' in diameter and 1' high. The frame defines a circular plane, roughly 8' in diameter, divided into many segments by circular arcs. Seven of these segments are filled with sculptural glass. The other segments are left open.
The central figure in the glass imagery is the Lady of Justice. She symbolizes the fair and equal administration of the law. Different representations of the Lady of Justice can be found in Western Culture. In this design she carries a sword and scales and is draped in flowing robes, the most common depiction. The wearing of a blindfold is found mostly in Europe and is not included in this design.
An American Bald Eagle and a Mexican Eagle (a.k.a. Mexican Buzzard or Crested Caracara) surround the Lady of Justice. The American Eagle is a symbol of skill, bravery, and strength. The Mexican Eagle, grasping a snake in its beak and cactus in its talons, is the official symbol of the Mexican Republic. The pairing of these two eagles symbolizes the change of sovereignty from Mexico to the United States in 1846 and is motivated by the same use of these two birds on the Great Seal of the State of New Mexico.
The illustration to the right is the design for the stainless-steel frame and glass relief in the atrium sculpture. The central figure is the Lady of Justice. An American Bald Eagle and a Mexican Eagle surround the Lady of Justice.
More In Light of Justice II photographs
(click on images to enlarge)