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Gut Flora

Shasti O’Leary Soudant’s new installation for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Allen/Medical Campus Station comprises six stainless-steel sculptures. Collectively titled Gut Flora, the colorful, 11-foot-tall structures are inspired by bacteria and constructed of individually powder-coated steel sections. These sections are joined to make helical forms that extend from floor to ceiling, creating the illusion that they penetrate both surfaces.

The title Gut Flora refers to the recent scientific determination that beneficial bacteria are essential to good health and should be cultivated and encouraged. If we were to consider the tunnels, concourses, and stations of the City of Buffalo’s public transportation system as analogous to the circulatory and digestive systems of the human body, it is only natural that these are populated by forms related to biological flora and fauna.

The work was fabricated locally in conjunction with the Rigidized Metals Corporation in Buffalo, where Soudant is the organization’s inaugural artist-in-residence.

This project has been made possible through the support of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, with additional support provided by Colleagues, Friends, and Family in memory of John E. Friedlander, First Chief Executive Officer of Kaleida Health, 1998–2001.