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Florida Guide > Travelling

Art at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport - Part 2

I wonder how many of us, as we rush from one part of an airport to another ever stop to look at the floor below our feet? Well, a recent visit to Dallas Fort Worth Airport, Texas, on our way to visit our beautiful villa in Orlando, gave us the opportunity to do just that.

I suppose most of us have little time to stop and take in the airport environment. We are normally rushing from one terminal to another, gathering suitcases, finding our gate, sometimes with little time to spare. Certainly it is rare to have time to stop and look down. But a long stop-over at Dallas Fort Worth gave us time to view some of the splendid floors that adorn this large building.

One of the most stunning is a medallion set into the floor by Gate D6-7. Called ‘The Highest Power, ’ it is 20 ft in diameter and features three horses flying through the journey of life. Each horse is a different colour. The yellow horse represents the power of God, the blue horse represents Mother Earth, and the red horse represents the blood of man. Richard Zapata, the designer, hoped that this would remind all of us who pass through this busy airport that transportation started with the harnessing of nature, the wind, the environment and the animal.

‘Dance, Don’t Walk’ is an amusing medallion, quite different from ‘The Highest Power, ’ and is also 20 ft in diameter. This brightly coloured circle features business men and women dancing and throwing their briefcases in the air. It epitomises the freedom that air travel can bring and makes you want to join in. Executed in small mosaic tiles it is definitely one you won’t miss as you walk across the terminal, towards Gate D11-12!

I think one of my favourite medallions is ‘Celebration’ by a French artist, Beatrice Lebreton. Again, this is executed in mosaic and is very colourful. Like a huge patchwork this celebrates the human spirit. The artist herself wanted it to be an invitation to spread harmony over the whole world. Its most powerful image is the dove, the universal symbol of peace, and this takes pride of place in the centre as well as at the four cardinal points. It appears in a variety of styles, Asian, South American, European and African. There are also 5 distinct patterns within this medallion – from different cultures, such as African, Japanese, Native Indian, Greek and Celtic. Its vivid hues complement the exotic, almost mystical symbols.

I suppose that, bearing in mind the next medallion is in an airport, the title, ‘Early Morning Flight’ seems appropriate. But Billy Hassell, who designed this stunning terrazzo, did not use aeroplanes as his inspiration. Instead he has made an awesome and highly colourful floor with its centrepiece a mockingbird, set on a deep blue and green background. The beautiful detail on its wings, and the plants which surround it, are really awesome, and it seems a shame to walk over it.

But I think that one of the most interesting medallions has to be ‘Louise’ by Linda and Ed Blackburn. I had to do a quick retake before I could see what was depicted in this circular terrazzo. There are two main characters, a man and a woman, obviously embracing before one or other departs on the aeroplane that stands on the tarmac behind them. A more shadowy figure is in the background. It is a romantic image, and one which many of us will recognise from ‘Casablanca, ’ that classic film with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. It epitomises romance and adventure, and the often sad farewells that take place at airports, but there is a sense of menace in the arrival of the third person.

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Page added on: 1 February 2008
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