OOS Sculpture

Soliloquy on the Origin of Aboriginal Abstractions

1976-11-3 / J. D. Jackson / Toledo

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As written by the artist, "The sculpture “Soliloquy on the Origin of Aboriginal Abstractions” was commissioned by the City of Toledo, Ohio in 1975, and unveiled in 1976 for the national bicentennial observance. My initial inspiration to create this work of art evolved from the Toledo American Bicentennial Commission’s theme, “Heritage ’76: A Re-examination of Our Origins, Values, and Principles.” The images in the sandblasted frieze wall reliefs are abstract primal shapes derived and improvised from aboriginal cultures of The Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia –New Guinea, and Australia, combined to form and develop a Post-Modern motif that speaks to the origins of America’s diverse civilization."

Using a 3M rubber stencil to protect the wall and then cutting out the designs to expose the bare concrete, a sandblast machine with 220-pound per square inch of pressure was used to carve the reliefs into the wall. 22 tons of sand was used during the process and the recessed stone was tinted a translucent charcoal hue. The stencil was removed and the walls were washed with an oleum solvent to remove the rubber cement solution that was used to adhere the stencil. The entire concrete wall system was then sealed with a silicon sealer. JD Jackson says, “In conclusion I can say that it has been an arduous task, but totally fulfilling.”

In a narrative that Jackson wrote at the time of creation he says this: “It is September 1st, 1975. I am standing on the corner of Indiana and Hawley streets in Toledo, Ohio, a new building is in its final stage of completion.
I am looking at the large 30’ x 30’ walls that greet me as I enter the building. On these lonesome walls I will create movement, abstract form, and poetry.
I have decided to do a relief on the solid poured concrete wall. I will recess the concrete one-half to one inch, and the method will be sandblasting.
I have been preparing myself for this challenge for months by studying the techniques of sandblasting and by carefully planning the execution of the sandblast process. My design has been tailored for total accuracy as there is no room for error in a sandblast relief.
I must take the architect into consideration, for my objective is to make a mural that is complimentary to the architectural structure, but that is as free as the limits of structure permit. I am conscious of the world at large, realizing that all roads on this planet lead to Indiana and Hawley streets. I will address myself to the world community and speak the visual language with it in mind.
It is November 3rd, 1976. A year has gone by. I have worked nine hours each day. I have lost 20 pounds. The sandblasting process is completed. The mural relief has come alive.”

-All information was derived from the artist, J. D. Jackson, himself.

Location: Frederick Douglass Community Center, 1001 Indiana Ave

County

: Lucas

Citation

: J. D. Jackson, “Soliloquy on the Origin of Aboriginal Abstractions,” Ohio Outdoor Sculpture , accessed September 26, 2021, https://oos.sculpturecenter.org/index.php/items/show/985.

Title

Soliloquy on the Origin of Aboriginal Abstractions

Description

As written by the artist, "The sculpture “Soliloquy on the Origin of Aboriginal Abstractions” was commissioned by the City of Toledo, Ohio in 1975, and unveiled in 1976 for the national bicentennial observance. My initial inspiration to create this work of art evolved from the Toledo American Bicentennial Commission’s theme, “Heritage ’76: A Re-examination of Our Origins, Values, and Principles.” The images in the sandblasted frieze wall reliefs are abstract primal shapes derived and improvised from aboriginal cultures of The Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia –New Guinea, and Australia, combined to form and develop a Post-Modern motif that speaks to the origins of America’s diverse civilization."

Using a 3M rubber stencil to protect the wall and then cutting out the designs to expose the bare concrete, a sandblast machine with 220-pound per square inch of pressure was used to carve the reliefs into the wall. 22 tons of sand was used during the process and the recessed stone was tinted a translucent charcoal hue. The stencil was removed and the walls were washed with an oleum solvent to remove the rubber cement solution that was used to adhere the stencil. The entire concrete wall system was then sealed with a silicon sealer. JD Jackson says, “In conclusion I can say that it has been an arduous task, but totally fulfilling.”

In a narrative that Jackson wrote at the time of creation he says this: “It is September 1st, 1975. I am standing on the corner of Indiana and Hawley streets in Toledo, Ohio, a new building is in its final stage of completion.
I am looking at the large 30’ x 30’ walls that greet me as I enter the building. On these lonesome walls I will create movement, abstract form, and poetry.
I have decided to do a relief on the solid poured concrete wall. I will recess the concrete one-half to one inch, and the method will be sandblasting.
I have been preparing myself for this challenge for months by studying the techniques of sandblasting and by carefully planning the execution of the sandblast process. My design has been tailored for total accuracy as there is no room for error in a sandblast relief.
I must take the architect into consideration, for my objective is to make a mural that is complimentary to the architectural structure, but that is as free as the limits of structure permit. I am conscious of the world at large, realizing that all roads on this planet lead to Indiana and Hawley streets. I will address myself to the world community and speak the visual language with it in mind.
It is November 3rd, 1976. A year has gone by. I have worked nine hours each day. I have lost 20 pounds. The sandblasting process is completed. The mural relief has come alive.”

-All information was derived from the artist, J. D. Jackson, himself.

Creator

Date

1976-11-3

Subject

Source

The artist

Publisher

Ohio Outdoor Sculpture

Identifier

985

Location City

Location County

Location Notes

corner of Indiana Ave & Hawley St

Provider Qualifier

Commissioned by

Provider Entity

Toledo American Bicentennial Commission

Location Street

1001 Indiana Ave

Location Type

Media Sculpture Height

26 feet

Media Sculpture Width

26 feet

Media Sculpture Depth

18 feet

Creation Date

1976-11-03

Materials