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Cosmology of Cosmetology

“When I was asked to become involved in this project, Peter spoke to me two words: "cosmology" and "cosmetology," and allotted a space at the entrance to the garden. My first take was that the two seemingly similar words denote divergent ideas. As I began to think about it, I recognized the similarities: cosmology being man's attempt to explain an exceedingly complex universe and find some form of neat order in it; cosmetology being one's vain attempt to create the semblance of personal perfection. Trying to translate the ideas that kept bubbling up into a garden was tricky. My sense was that it would be a good thing to have a place to sit and contemplate "where is the center of the universe?" The structure was realized by James Rivera after he and I sat and drew on napkins over a two-hour lunch. His touch is really magic and his architect’s sensibility brings a clean feel to the installation. In his words, “sacred geometry = the architecture of the universe.” The gazing ball in the center of the fountain gives the visitor a central focus with an infinite view. Additional notions kept floating up from Peter and any passers-by, especially female. This theme seemed to strike a chord. Although it's not finished quite yet, we're hoping for an audio element - riffs on both ideas. Part of the excitement for me of this project is the sensation of its evolution. Each viewer experiences and interprets these ideas in her/his own way.“

“I feel that I have met my goal if the visitor feels compelled to stop and think about her/his place in the universe.

Carol Critchlow

Carol Critchlow is a living oxymoron - a working artist. Trained in Fine Arts painting at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, she graduated in 1975 with University honors. After running away to join the circus, she’s back in the Princeton area since 1984, carving an individual lifestyle, one project at a time. Some of her favorite pastimes include working with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society on the Philadelphia Flower Show since 1995. She’s past president of the 95-year-old Garden Club of Trenton and is involved with the Garden Club of American Partners for Plants project in Washington Crossing State Park’s tract of land in the Sourland Mountains. Her business card reads “Artist - Fine, Medium and Coarse.” She has taught painting, drawing and calligraphy, does realistic, sensitive portraits, murals, faux finishing and “straight painting.” She’s known for her accurate color sense and indomitable work ethic.

Carol wishes to thank Ace Hardware, Blue Mercury, Nelson Glass, Kary Clancy Interiors, Ash’s Flower Farm, the Johnson Atelier, Jefferson Plumbing, Joanna Dunkley and Alan Goodheart for their contributions.

Quark Park is being developed by Kevin Wilkes, AIA; Peter Soderman; and Alan Goodheart, ASLA. The World Hope Foundation has joined forces with this team to be the fiscal agent for the project. The World Hope Foundation mission supports self-determination in communities by bringing resources to community members and educational experts that are willing to step forward and enhance the lives of their children and elders. The Foundation is a qualified as a Federal 501 (c)(3) charitable organization and as such is eligible to solicit and support charitable causes.
World Hope Foundation
Web design and photos by Cie Stroud are © 2006

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