Alis Volat Propriis

"Alis Volat Propriis" Panoramic
Single Feather

Alis Volat Propriis or We Fly with Our Own Wings

Constructed of over 2000 handmade and hot sculpted glass feathers in a variety of opaque, translucent, and transparent colors. The feathers are hung in 2 locations in the building from monofilament strands.

The first location is at the top (3rd) floor of the Grand Staircase, feathers cascade in an arching pattern down the wall to the 2nd floor.

The second location is the center of each stairwell of the Grand Staircase, from the top (3rd) floor feathers hang to the 1st floor and end in gold-leafed aluminum bowls with interior LED lighting.

 36’ x 29’ x 18’ 

I wanted to personally thank you for making such an important contribution to the beauty of the building.
You were able to create a gorgeous piece of art that is fully effective on its own, 
but is also integrated with a large part of the building and enhances the spaces of our courthouse.
Thomas A. Balmer
Justice - Oregon Supreme Court

Often translated as feminine, I chose the inclusive pronoun “we” so all feel welcome to embrace the message of the artwork.

What is the meaning of Justice? How are we represented as individuals and unified together under the rule of law? These are the questions I asked while creating this sculpture. I investigated the dual nature of Justice as objective (ideal) and subjective (action). These dual natures are represented in our collective consciousness as visual cues. We see the Eagle representing the objective ideal of Justice. Whether in our buildings, flags, or currency, it is ubiquitous, as is the symbol of Justitia, the blind woman holding scales, which depicts the subjective enactment of Justice.

In my work, I investigate how parts come together to create a whole. Using repetitious forms derived from nature, coupled with a formal investigation of glass as a fluid material, I made glass feathers to represent each of us and our unique diversity, with our own ideas, opinions, feelings, dreams, and how we still come together as one under the rule of law. Laid out in suggestive patterns and groupings to complement a challenging and historically beloved space in the Oregon State Supreme Court building, the sculpture cascades from the 3rd floor to the 1st floor of the Grand Staircase.

In an imperfect world, we hold ideals high and have our brightest minds use their best judgment to ensure everyone is served fairly. This is how, together, we fly with our own wings.