Michael Krondl

Public art makes a splash in Surrey

New York-based creator of glass photographic work will be at Guildford Aquatic Centre May 30.

Surrey’s newest public sculpture is making some passers by take a gulp.

Splash, created by New York-based photographer Michael Krondl, features an enormous photograph of water, printed on glass panels towering outside the newly built Guildford Aquatic Centre.

The artwork greets people entering the city from Highway 1 and according to the artist, is meant as a contemporary reference to historical city fountains.

“I see Splash as a modern day equivalent of old world fountains that marked gathering spots where people would come for water but linger to build community,” says Krondl.

The work is also  inspired by the location, which is the headwater of the Serpentine River and is an appropriate reflection of the activities that take place inside the aquatic centre.

While referencing the past, the artwork also uses the latest digital technology to transform a photo into a large-scale iconic artwork. Hand-painted coloured glass has been used for many years, but over the last decade, it has become possible to use ceramic pigments – which are fired much like the glazes on pottery – to print large scale permanent photographic transparencies.

The artwork is 18 feet by 35 feet with the splash printed on 14 large separate tempered glass panels. Outdoors in the changing light, the transparency of the printed glass changes as viewers move and the sun and clouds pass by.

Krondl will be at the opening celebrations of the aquatic centre on May 30. The opening itself if from noon to 3 p.m., with Krondl giving a talk between 2-3 p.m. in the Senior’s Room on the second floor.


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