​​​​​​Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

A Vortex of Time & Space​​​



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ARTIST:   Aurore Chabot
DATE:   2002
LOCATION:  Sky Harbor Airport Terminal-4, Ticketing Le​vel, SW end
TYPE:   Mural
BUDGET:   $35,000
ZIP CODE:   ​85034

​​Aurore Chabot created a large ceramic tile mural for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. This mural, A Vortex of Time and Space, is part of the Airport's unique collection of artist-created murals that greet visitors coming and going at the north and south curbs of Terminal Four. Chabot teaches ceramics at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She is interested in exploring how people think about time and history through her artwork. She is especially intrigued by archaeology and our connections to the prehistoric past. Chabot used images that encourage travelers to make connections between the past and present as they bustle through their travels in and out of the airport.

The 10' by 14' mural that Chabot designed for the airport includes geometric shapes found on Hohokam pottery and in rock art. Some of these shapes and images can be seen at Pueblo Grande Museum, the large Hohokam sit preserved near the airport. This mural also includes fossil images from plants, insects and cellular shapes. In some Native American cultures in the southwest, spirals in rock art may indicate migration or travel by a group of people – an appropriate theme for a mural located inside the airport and seen by many people traveling to and from Arizona.

Chabot worked with fourth and sixth grade students at Wilson Elementary School, near Sky Harbor Airport, to create shapes and images that the artist pressed into a mold and then inlaid into the surface of each ceramic tile, giving the tiles a lot of texture. She considers the students' additions to the tiles “memory fossils". Each tile surface looks like a slice of earth uncovered during an archaeological excavation.