Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bank Commission for New FirstBank in Franklin, TN

New Bank Commission
I just finished another commission for FirstBank to be located in the board room of their new branch in downtown Franklin, TN. Situated in an old post office, the building has lots of early twentieth century architectural features. The gorgeous renovation design was done by Carin Jeffods of Vaughan Associates Architects. The bank wanted a piece that addressed banking history, and as with a previous commission, I had access to an amazing collection of historic ledgers and machinery I had dismantled that had been in their storage.
The Art of Banking    44"H x 64"W   cut archival reproductions of ledger pages on rag paper, machinery parts, stone, silk cord, wood, metallic paint
Artist Statement
The Art of Banking
The Safeguard of Quantification

Early in human history, civilizations began to flourish when trade and creative production were able to be recorded and protected. The people developed values for work and goods, and kept records with first collections of pebbles, and then with methods such as knotting strings, which led to the development of machines such as the  abacus.

The rocks and knotted ropes are a reference to these tools of early civilized transactions, and in the case of the knotted ropes, the earliest counting machines, such as the abacus, that became a reference for the development of the 1st computers- all critical for commerce and banking.

The gears, supports, and frame rods are designed after the ornate interior workings of early twentieth century bank vault doors. The cut paper gears are made of reproductions of pages from the banks ledgers, going back to 1916. There are more ledger pages to the right, sewn together and held on with an assortment of metal keys and parts from one of the banks first electric typewriters. The base of the frame is designed after security deposit doors.

In the contrast of the primitive with the modern, you can see how our system all came about.
detail: FirstBank's tree logo. To the left, the framing I did to replicate the pin system used in bank vault doors
vault door design, paper ledger gears, little metal gears
Parts from the banks early Bodine Electric typewriter, made in Chicago
Mother Stones from the Outer Banks in North Carolina, knotted silk cord, pin lock frame
Anne Brown, owner of my Nashville Gallery, The Arts Company, and Carin Jeffords check out the installation.

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