Invisible Cities I -IVIII, photo courtesy of Heath Ballowe

Invisible Cities Encountered on the Road to the Garden of Forking Paths

The Philadelphia International Airpor, Terminal A-West

Install February 13, 2017

Over the past year, Terri has been preparing for an exhibition at The Philadelphia International Airpor, Terminal A-West. She will have a total of twenty seven pieces in the exhibit, titled "Invisible Cities Encountered on the Road to the Garden of Forking Paths." Installation will take place on February 13, 2017 and the work will remain in the terminal for the next six or more months.

“The peculiar grace of a Shaker chair is due to the fact that it was made by someone capable of believing that an angel might come & sit on it."

-Thomas Merton

When I first moved into my old, South Philadelphia house, everything that was falling down was buttressed with scrap wood, tied up with nude-colored, nylon stockings, and slathered with concrete. The supported structures were a mysterious and curious record of the architectural history of the landscape. My neighbors Quintina and Mario were alchemists who could build or fix anything with a piece of string.

Memories are delicate constructions. They are a labyrinth, a vast and intricate novel that at once documents, interrupts and obfuscates, creating floating entry points. In the "Shaker" spirit, I imagine a tiny wasp-worker making imaginary homes for important collections of most special memories.

“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” 
― Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

* A note of sincere thanks to Heath Ballowe for his curatorial expertise in helping to design the layout of the exhibition cases. I am ever grateful for Greg Emore and his crew for fabricating beautiful Iroko and cast concrete pedestals. Thanks to both for their awesome artist-mathematician-super-builder-master-crafter-friend skills...and for being plain terrific.


Terminal A-West
Ticketed Passengers

Philadelphia artist Terri Saulin is a ceramist whose work is inspired by Jorge Luis Borges's short story The Garden of Forking Paths written in 1941. The story is described as "a labyrinth of ideas" based on concepts and perceptions of time and the universe. The story's themes are similar to the theory known as Many-Worlds where multiple universes exist simultaneously.

Saulin Frock's work is a visual interpretation of an "imagined time-lapse view or code of a world." Saulin Frock creates small-scale, complex, architectural structures that are both ancient and futuristic. Typically, her work features a hand-built core – an organically shaped vessel -- enhanced with 3-dimensional linear elements part lattice-like, part scaffolding that imply structural repair, growth, and continual change.

Saulin Frock's porcelain compositions are often detailed with small circular coils, mini slabs, as well as floral references – a nod to the vitality of nature. The sculptures are magical in their diminutive scale and complexity. They appear to be microcosms that have transcended time as if built over centuries by multiple hands and cultures. Each is a container of unique architectural history evident in its presence yet mysterious in its evolution.


- Leah Douglas, Chief Curator, Philadelphia International Airport

Install Fun:

Photographs courtesy of Philadelphia International Airport