Commissioned by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs to create public art for the LA Fire Department’s Air Operations facility, Matt Gagnon recently completed “Water Tower” is a sculptural installation located at the Van Nuys Airport in California.
The artist’s description
The site is a state of the art fire station housing all the department’s helicopters. Located down an alley behind warehouses at the Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles the facility is responsible for protecting the entire LA region from wildfires, performing search and rescue and air ambulance operations as well as high rise firefighting. The personnel stationed at the site are pilots, medics and traditional firefighters.
Inside the entrance gate behind a row of nondescript warehouses, Gagnon designed a tower to proclaim the significance of the facility and assure the first time visitor that this is not another storage building.
Impressed by the white sculptural forms formed when the helicopters drop water on wildfires, Gagnon created a 32 feet tall folded steel structure to evoke a giant blast of water. As the light changes at the site the crisp geometric steel panels soften and take on the quality of spraying water.