Public art touches people. A newly unveiled sculpture along Ingersoll is designed to be touched back. The Public Art Committee of The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand commissioned acclaimed artist Larassa Kabel to create her first sculpture, The Black Crown of Recurring Loss. The life-size bronze form of an adorsed stag embodies the relationship between Love and its conjoined twin and shadow, Fear of Loss.
Set on a limestone base along a new curved pathway on the wooded grounds of Plymouth Place, the sculpture is meant for human interaction.
“The finish of many public art works is accidentally damaged when people touch them and try to photograph themselves with them. I view these as an individual’s attempt to mark their place, to say ‘I matter. I was here. I existed,’” said Kabel. “Black Crown was designed with those inevitable interactions in mind. The anticipated wear of the patina from rubbing the antlers or noses is part of the piece, a way of capturing the presence of our community over time. I enjoyed making this piece more than I can say, and I hope it becomes a beloved piece of the neighborhood.”
Kabel says it took a long time to find the right spot, but when the site among the evergreens was suggested she felt it was a beautiful location. Completed in 1968, the 12-story circular residential building known as Plymouth Place was designed by local architect Raymond Hueholt, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. A public dedication is planned for next spring.
Kabel is best known for her large-scale prints and drawings of falling horses in the series Any Minute Now. Her curatorial work with Moberg Gallery comprises UpSpeak and beyond nature. Her work can be found in numerous collections, including the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA; and Bankers Trust Corporate Collection, Des Moines, IA.
Photo by Ben Easter Photography