Mirage is a public sculpture by artist Katie Paterson and architectural studio Zeller & Moye. Located in the olive grove adjacent to the Visitor’s Center at Apple Park, Mirage includes over four hundred glass columns that weave through and amongst the olive trees. The pillars of pure cast glass are made with sand collected from deserts across the Earth. Mirage has been cast in whole single glass cylinders – each 6’ 7” high – by expert glass makers, with guidance from material scientists. Unique glass recipes were formulated for each desert resulting in pillars with subtle variations of color and texture. Innovative methods of working with glass at this scale were invented, in combination with techniques from the origins of glass making.
Together the columns combine the world’s deserts transformed into liquid-like material, flowing like a dune shaped by the wind. Mirage is a global artwork. In the spirit of co-operation, sand was sustainably collected, in partnership with UNESCO, geologists and communities across the world’s desert regions. The artwork celebrates each of the lands from which it is created, and the people who nurture, conserve, and sustain these lands.
Mirage has a strong material presence, connecting to the elements and reflecting the environment. In daylight the sculpture varies in iridescence, and in the evening it gently glows. The experience of watching the light fall through becomes a form of meditation; time standing still. Visitors can interact with the artwork, walking alongside and through, where the glass appears to subtly melt into the landscape, like a desert mirage.
Mirage creates a moment of pause, inviting all visitors to slow down, and tune into the immensity and preciousness of our planet.