Chi Wara Sundial Lantern

Ayokunle Odeleye
Stainless steel, bronze, granite

The Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program worked in conjuction with the Department of Public Works and selected artist Ayokunle Odeleye  to develop a site specific sculpture for the Cascade Rd./ Benjamin E. Mays streetscape improvement project.

The Cascade/Benjamin E. Mays Streetscape Project  improves pedestrian access and safety, while upgrading and enhancing the existing streetscape elements at the intersection. Mr. Odeleye was selected by an art selection committee to develop the art for the plaza that  anchor the project.

“Chi Wara Sundial Lantern” created by Mr. Odeleye,  integrates into the streetscape improvement project  located within the plaza designed for the intersection of Cascade Road and Benjamin E. Mays Drive.  His concept is derived from the  “Chi Wara”  a mythical animal of an ethnic group of people in  Mali along the West African coast.  The Chi Wara is used as a headdress in  special ceremonial harvest dances designed to pass on knowledge from wise elders to young people in the village.  Chi Wara Sundial Lantern visually interprets this mythological image and conceptually  uses it to suggest the ceremonial passing of scholarship from Cascade elders to the youth of this community.

The physical form of the sculpture  represent both a sundial and a light structure. As a sundial, the lower points of the sculpture direct the viewer’s eye to twelve stainless steel plates arranged on the surface of the circular concrete foundation.  Engraved on the plates are names of significant individuals from the Cascade area who have made political, spiritual and cultural contributions to the community and the city.
The cast shadow from the sun  mark the hours of the day as it crosses the granite plates on the plaza.

As a “lantern” light structure, the sculpture is designed with an internal flood light feature which shines upward illuminating the interior column and the flame like forms found at the top of the work.  Conceptually, the light feature represents the political, spiritual and creative illumination provided to the community and the city by individuals who names appear on the metal plates of the concrete plaza.

Cascade Rd. SW at Benjamin Mays Dr. SW
Atlanta, GA 30311