Cycle of Life reveals Richard’s exceptional artistic rigor and vision—an aesthetically stunning masterwork that is also an engineering marvel. It is also emblematic of the Knoxville Museum of Art’s commitment to the art of the region and to collecting the work of contemporary artists of international repute. Seven parts of the narrative encompass the entire Ann and Steve Bailey Hall.
Primordial - A moonlit forest of poplars—trees indigenous to East Tennessee—are studded with hundreds of sprouting leaves and buds.
Emergence - A man and woman made of cast black glass slabs secured by a steel armature are shown walking out into the world together.
Flight - A flock of more than 130 glossy, blown-glass birds soar skyward, referencing the journey to adulthood.
Tree of Life - Rising 22 feet from floor to ceiling is an ancient symbol of abundance and fertility adorned with thousands of glistening leaves, pomegranate blossoms, and doves.
Desire - A man and woman prepare to embrace, signifying the generative force of life.
Contemplation - A lone, massive head signals a time of quiet introspection during life’s final stages. The dark glass face is bisected by a beam of light made of acid-etched crystal, hinting at an impending transition from physical to spiritual states.
Sky - The heavens above are represented by “Universe”, a central constellation of multi-colored orbs of silvered glass, flanked by “Metaphysical”, serpentine strands of pale blue spheres.