Spectral Meadow is an art piece comprised of an array of patches of colored light created by the transmission of sunlight through diffraction gratings covering the windows above Osher Gallery 1. These gratings spread light into rainbows more efficiently than do prisms. My intent was to provide an intense color experience for the very young, who seem to like to crawl on the floor engulfed in a field of color—but adults seem to appreciate the experience as well. The colorful patches change throughout the day as the Earth turns and the Sun moves across the sky.
Many have speculated about the connection between this piece, which is certainly a celebration of the rainbow, with the rainbow flag. To me, rainbows are a symbol of inclusiveness of all living things. The rainbow is the ultimate symbol of an inclusive cosmos, as it fades from our visibility into the infrared at one end and the ultraviolet at the other, implying an unbroken continuum with the invisible energies of the total universe.
Pete Stephens, Exhibit Developer