top of page
Shirley working.jpg






Sculpture Dimensions:

8’h.x 4’ x 4' 

Overall: 10’h. x 51.5” w. x 60.5”
Media: Cast Silicon Bronze / Falling Water

IIHR- Hydroscience & Engineering

C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulic Research Building

300 South Riverside Drive

Iowa City, Iowa


Wyrick welcomed the opportunity to do a sculpture for the IIHR, because of her interest in water and its movement. IIHRs assistance in research for Critical Juncture / Fluid Boundary and its help on site to try to make her original concept work made doing this work for them even more meaningful.

When she was commissioned, Wyrick took time to do in-depth study of research on fluid movement both current and historic, that she found extremely important to this work. In addition, the IIHR staff, including Larry Weber, its director, expanded her knowledge of their research that touches so many current concerns in this international center.

The IIHR staff helped immensely by constructing the basic structure where Wyrick could envision and build the basic sculpture before casting. They also helped to create the water feature in the back of the sculpture so it would be viable and could be activated in the building’s lobby.



Free Flow explores the real, theoretical, and metamorphic properties of water in all its states – ice, water, and vapor. The waterfall provides the viewer an opportunity for contemplation and meditation. As you examine each of the three bronze watercourses, note how the detailed relief images flow from one to the next, often transformed as they progress. As a whole, the images symbolize the vast reach and breadth of IIHR’s fundamental hydroscience research, practical application, and education, as well as that of hydroscience in general.

The river speaks to each of us by letting us hear ourselves, and by allowing us to reflect and to listen to that river of thought and feeling that flows deep within each of us.


The intrigue of fluid movement grew within me from an early age through listening and watching. I spent a good deal of time just looking, listening and feeling the action of waves and boat motors while on many family fishing trips, being fascinated with the “rain babies” that formed when raindrops fell in puddles during heavy rains, observing the slow formation of ice on a nearby creek and gazing in wonder at the languid movement through the air of smoke from my dad’s ever-present pipe.


Many people from the beginning of time have experienced this same intrigue and fascination with the movement and transformation of fluids, and some of these people began scientific study to uncover water’s secrets—so that they could predict its movement, direct its flow, and harness its power. An entire field of inquiry, including hydraulic engineering and hydroscience, grew from this deep interest—a field that includes passing on to others, through formal education and research, the results of experiments, practical applications and theoretical discoveries.


The body of my artwork, seen over time, has become a sort of river in itself—a river that seeks new outlets as it swells and joins with new streams that feed it and make it broader and stronger—a river, which in its totality, continues to be a “work-in-progress.”


Listening to the river is difficult to do. There is no lack of things to hear. My hope is that Free Flow will help you not only to “hear” the river's many messages, but that it will also help you hear yourself.


bottom of page