Mariposa means butterfly in Spanish. Artist Charles Dickson sought to reflect the community’s contribution to preserving the El Segundo Blue Butterfly, and to call attention to the parallels between nature and the development of aerospace technology that has played an important role in the area surrounding the station.
Dickson worked with the station architect and engineers to incorporate these themes of nature and technology throughout the space. Bench seating, shaped like giant butterfly clusters, and figurative relief sculptures on the stairwalls reflect fantasies of flight and aspirations of the human spirit. Terrazzo sunburst patterns enhance the pavement, while elevator and windscreen glass includes imagery of space and aeronautic history. Scientific drawings of sensory phenomena are hand-etched onto the granite pavers to further complement the station theme. In contrast to these references to nature, colorful tiles along the columns magnify the complex designs of computer chips that have become so important in today’s technological world.
Collaboration with Escudero-Fribourg, Architects.
“We are consumed by the desire to develop new technologies and to improve and replace old methods, only to discover that ultimately all we are doing is mimicking nature and its complex systems. The station elements, reflecting the universal human desire to fly and to reach higher goals, are designed to provoke conversations and to provide the opportunity to share common experiences among strangers.”
ESCUDERO-FRIBOURG ARCHITECTS was established in 1972 and has designed six Metro Rail Stations as well as a number of institutional/health care and educational facilities.
About the Artist
CHARLES DICKSON, born and raised in Los Angeles, currently lives and works in Compton, CA. He is primarily a self-taught sculptor whose work has been exhibited throughout Southern California. Dickson also volunteers his time and skills to workshops for children at Watts Towers Art Center and Barnsdall Park in Los Angeles.
Locations: Mariposa Station