Each week in What’s the Meaning of This?, we explain what those weird public-art installations you walk by every day are supposed to represent. This week: A stone sculpture that gives “jury duty” a good name.
Name of installation: Pillars of Justice
Artist: Edwina Sandys
Location: 361 University Ave.
Date of display: 2007
What’s it supposed to be?: Located outside of the University Avenue Courthouse, this 20-foot-wide steel sculpture, created by artist Edwina Sandys (daughter of British Cabinet Minister Duncan Sandys, and granddaughter of Winston Churchill), consists of 11 human “pillars” holding up the roof a courthouse. Because the justice system depends on the participation of citizens, the installation is meant to represent the fact (as the plaque accompanying the installation states) that “we are the pillars of justice.” Moreover, the artist purposefully omitted one human column so that “a person can stand there or imagine being in the vacant space and ‘become’ the important 12th juror,” though the nature of the installation itself seems more thought-provoking rather than interactive.