First published: Fall 2007
This is the only sculpture garden in America by de Saint Phalle, whose sculptures are recognisable by their glass-and-mirrored-mosaic surfaces. For this garden she also added tumbled and polished stones including agate, turquoise, malachite and tiger's eye.
The figures are covered with tens of thousands of pieces of hand-cut glass and mirrors and tens of thousands of stones. De Saint Phalle personally chose the materials from all over the world – coloured glass, mirrored glass, ceramic, stones, shells. This was to be her last major project. She died in 2002 at the age of seventy-one, before the garden was completed. It was already all designed and was finished by assistants after her death. Queen Califia's Magical Circle opened to the public in autumn 2003.
De Saint Phalle was known for her Nanas, large oversize sculptures of voluptuous women. Queen Califia fits that description. The legendary Queen ruled over an island of Black Amazonian women warriors. It was some-where west of the Indies and was said to be a paradise filled with riches. California is named after her.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #60