Monday, May 4, 2009

Ghost Ballet, Nashville

This past weekend I was in Nashville, TN and I found this awesome public art installation by the river. In 2007, Alice Aycock installed Nashville’s first Percent for Public Art commission on the bank of the Cumberland River, opposite the downtown. Titled Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks, the 100’ x 100’ x 60’ sculpture perches on a crane base once used to launch barges. The artwork references the site’s industrial past and visually echoes current surroundings, including nearby bridges and the NFL Titans stadium. Its dynamic form conveys a sense of the area’s evolution from industrial working river to recreation and entertainment, a theme that resonated with Aycock after her first site visit.

The main structure of the sculpture is comprised of arced, red-painted steel trusses that twist upward from the crane base to form a disconnected spherical shape. On the ground, a red-painted aluminum “turbine whirlwind” serves as a visual generator for the swirling trusses above. At night, a glowing neon fixture illuminates the sculpture’s center.
The sculpture changes as you move around it which is why Aycock named it Ghost Ballet.

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