Rhododendron Fence - Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle

Regional Photograph

The Rhododendron Fence, created by Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle, is constructed of hand forged steel and is 36 feet long by 12 feet high. The piece contains larger than life stems, leaves, flowers and buds of the Vine Maple, the Pacific Rhododendron and the Trumpet Honeysuckle, all native plants of Washington State.

The design and forging of the elements that went into the Rhododendron Fence was done to emphasize the rhythm and flow of growth patterns and structure. The top portion of the fence is without a framework - one frame cascades into the next almost seamlessly to emphasize the integrity of this pattern. The forms have solidity yet an airiness as well. The intention was to emphasize life and movement and to interact with the many mature trees as well as the native grasses that are part of the landscape.

The larger than life plants in the Rhododendron Fence make a statement about the power and beauty of the botanical subjects, and create a work that has a graphic scale in balance with the 1500 Jefferson buildings.

The color of the fence is a warm gray-green that is reminiscent of native lichens that are found growing in healthy habitats in the Pacific Northwest. This light color compliments the cool tones of the stone and concrete of the buildings and enables the fence to be seen from a distance while remaining harmonious with its surroundings.