Pacific Science Center in Seattle built five solar sculptures, inspired by the Australian firewheel tree. Pretty cool. Here's an excerpt.
When the Pacific Science Center in Seattle put out a call for public art demonstrating solar energy, Dan Corson submitted a proposal. He called his musing a “Humming Heliotrope.” Heliotrope, in Latin, means “turning toward the Sun.”
“I was thinking about how some flowers move in order to capture the Sun,” says the artist.
Corson drew up a plan for five towering sculptures of flowers, inspired by the flower of the Australian firewheel tree (Stenocarpus sinuatus), to sprout from the grounds of the science center near the base of Seattle’s famous Space Needle. The flowers would light up at night, thanks to electricity generated by day courtesy of solar panels on their faces. They’d also hum as people walked around the stems.