April 2, 2021

Denver Water Commissions David Harber for Refreshing Pair of Sculptures

They’re not an automatic pair. A celebrated British sculptor and Colorado’s oldest and largest water utility. But when David Harber won the commission for a pair of sculptures for Denver Water, the process was fluid and the outcome spectacularly refreshing. Harber has been creating custom-built sundials, water features, and sculptures in natural materials like verdigris bronze, oxidized steel, and Carrera marble for such clients as Princeton University and the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc for decades. For his Mile High City installations, he crafted marine-grade, mirror-polished stainless steel, chosen for its reflective and durable qualities, into the towering Hydra and Water Droplet. The seven curving lengths of the former reach skyward at 18 to 26 feet. The drop-shape latter stands nearly 22 feet. At 3,550 and 1,030 pounds, respectively, it was water that enabled their exis­tence: They were shipped from the U.K. to the U.S. by boat.

Marine-grade, mirror-polished stainless steel forms Hydra, one of David Harber’s two site-specific sculptures commissioned by Nine dot Arts for Denver Water. Photography courtesy of Denver Water.
Hydra’s seven branches, also partially painted, were inspired by the many-headed mythical Greek serpent. Photography courtesy of Denver Water.
The other, Water Droplet, stands at the utility site’s entry and has a blue-painted interior. Photography courtesy of Denver Water.

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