Air Sea Land
Seaport sculpture installation encourages harmony with nature
Big business and shiny skyscrapers aren’t the only newcomers to Boston’s rapidly developing Seaport district. “Air Sea Land,” a sculpture installation by Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel now lines Seaport Boulevard, bringing bright colors and organic forms to the neighborhood. Through seven large-scale sculptures, San Miguel explores the themes of evolution, the environment and human influence on the animal world.
“Air Sea Land” begins with light. Presented as an in-the-round geometric star shooting bright multi-colored beams towards the sky, “Creation: Light” marks the beginning of the sculptural journey and evokes the beginning of time. Here, San Miguel illustrates the way light has guided animals and humans alike in their development.
The piece also references the Prudential Center here in Boston. Sometimes referred to as Boston’s “North Star” that guides people downtown, the Pru glitters different colors for special occasions and sports games. The next Seaport installation sculpture, “Creation: Water” also ties evolution with Boston’s history. Just as animals and humans developed from the water, so did the city. The organic shapes in this piece bring in San Miguel’s pop-art influence.
With the next set of sculptures, San Miguel illustrates two types of animals. His “Diversity: Domestic” illustrates a squirrel holding a pigeon. Both these animals are often found among humans, especially in the city. Anyone who has seen tourists cooing over squirrels on Boston Common can attest to the comfort of these animals in urban spaces. In “Diversity: Wild” San Miguel depicts a majestic deer in mid-stride. Deer are often seen running away from the human world into the woods and vegetation where they’re safe. In this way San Miguel is illustrating a spectrum of natural creatures.
“Mythology: Being 1” and “Mythology: Being 2” show humans interacting with and affecting the natural world. Part-human, part-animal figures remind the viewer how both animals and humans can change each other’s ecosystems and adopt each other’s characteristics, for better or worse. The final sculpture, “Natural Balance: Coexistence” depicts a human hand holding a dove and represents balance between humans and nature.
“Air Sea Land” is also a call to action, a reminder that humans need to work in harmony with the natural world to survive. This commentary is especially poignant in one of the least natural areas of the city. What started as a piece of the Boston Harbor mostly submerged in water has been built by human hands into land, then into a shipping area and now into a trendy, urban living space. San Miguel’s bright, bold sculpture walk reminds residents of the risk of turning their back on the natural world in favor of the bright, new and hard.