Sun and Moon And from Land and from Air
BY MARTIN DONLIN
Commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art, these striking works by British architectural glass artist Martin Donlin are found inside the Scottsdale Airport Aviation Business Center. The tall stained-glass window is titled Sun and Moon while the two massive glass panel installations are called from Land and from Air.
Although Donlin lives in Brighton, East Sussex, on the southern coast of England, his artworks typically have a sensitivity and relevancy to their own environment. They are a response to both the architecture where they are installed and the building’s surroundings. These lively glass pieces feature images that represent the desert terrain and lifestyle of Arizona as well as poetry by Ofelia Zepeda, a member of the Tohono O’odham Tribe; Natalie Diaz, a member of the of the Mojave and Gila River tribes; and Richard Shelton, emeritus Regents Professor of English at the University of Arizona.
While researching for these works, Donlin visited a variety of locations in and around Scottsdale, including the Desert Botanical Garden and the Heard Museum, to learn about indigenous cultures and native plants and animals. Those influences are found throughout all three pieces via the poetry, designs of plants and animal tracks, maps of the early Hohokam canal system, images of the McDowell Mountains and references to the necessity—and scarcity—of rain.
from Land and from Air comprises 30 individual pieces of glass. A panel on the upper level of the Aviation Business Center includes 15 pieces of glass, while a separate panel on the lower level also has 15 pieces. The glass for these panels is digitally printed and sandblasted. Sun and Moon is a single piece of antique stained glass. The glass was fabricated at Glasmalerei Peters Studios in Paderborn, Germany, and shipped to the United States for installation at the airport.
Donlin’s work can be found around the world, from Germany, Japan, and Kazakhstan to U.S.-based projects in Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas, among many other locales. His small- and large-scale glass artworks have been installed in a variety of spaces, from the sacred to the secular, from substantial and busy public buildings to intimate spaces for prayer and reflection.