Walking Fingers by Ellen Forney: Capitol Hill Light Rail Station


Ellen Forney is a Seattle artist. She teaches at Cornish College of the Arts. This mural at the Sound Transit Capitol Hill Link Light Rail Station is made from porcelain panels on a steel framework.

From the artist’s website:

Walking Fingers

Sound Transit Capitol Hill Link Light Rail Station
Seattle, Washington

Crossed Pinkies and Walking Fingers are porcelain enamel on steel murals in the Sound Transit Capitol Hill light rail station. The murals are in the North and West entrances, on street level and easily viewed by passers-by. Commissioned by Sound Transit and fabricated by KVO Industries, ArtSite’s installation was completed in Dec 2015. Photos 1–4 by Lara Swimmer.

Walking Fingers, 28’ wide x 20’ high, is in the West entry, adjacent to Seattle Central Community College. The fingers in this playful hand gesture lead the entering passenger’s eye down the stairs to a pedestrian tunnel; the departing passenger is guided to ascend to street level.

The hands have personality, a sense of movement, universality, and vivid color, but no specific character, gender or race, allowing the images to be both vivid and broadly welcoming.

The original ink drawing’s brushwork is enlarged approximately 14 times, transforming the lines into voluminous shapes. The luster and graphic quality of enamel on steel complements the bold lines and vivid colors of the artwork, and the rich, saturated red enamel has a transparency that causes it to change with the light. The glints along the edges of the color fields are caused by “trapping,” or the slight overlapping of the enamel layers, resulting in added dimension and subtle evidence of its fabrication with hand-sprayed stencils and silkscreens.

An article about all the light rail station art in Seattle.

If you do not live in Seattle: Is there art in your town’s transit stations?

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