'The Nine Muses'
1990-97 - stone: granite
'The Nine Muses', a multi-component grouping carved from Vermont granite, was an ambitious project made over a course of seven years. Through its title, medium, appearance, and arrangement, 'The Nine Muses' is suggestive of ruins and triggers associations with statuary from Egypt, Greece, pre-Columbian sites, and other past civilizations. Granite slabs, cut and pieced together almost in a puzzle formation, form the floor of the installation, further reinforcing the allusion to an ancient temple and cleverly forming a support base without reliance on a pedestal. The standing figures with differing degrees of recognizable feminine characteristics resemble caryatids (support columns in the shape of a woman) found in Greek architecture, while others are more abstract, roughly hewn and less clearly defined. The number of figures holds significance in that there were nine muses in classical mythology, all daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who presided over the arts and sciences. That number, the divine three multiplied by itself, is also symbolic of completion and eternity. Instead of a name, each sculpture has been assigned a symbolic number based on attributes described in the study of numerology. Before arriving at Grounds For Sculpture, this work was exhibited at DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA. Dorrien has referred to ancient architecture to create powerful examples of contemporary public art. For example, he has been commissioned to produce works for the Stamford Courthouse, Connecticut; the Minuteman Bikeway, Cambridge; Congress Street Plaza and the State Archives and Museum, Boston; Logan International Airport and other sites in Massachusetts.