Aerial Sculpture "As If It Were Already Here" is a Boston cityscape I photographed in May of 2015, of a beautiful, monumental aerial sculpture by artist Janet Echelman. It was suspended over Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway from May through October 2015 as the signature contemporary art installation in the Greenway Conservancy’s Public Art Program.
It was made by hand-splicing rope and knotting twine into an interconnected mesh. The fibres used were 15 times stronger than steel yet incredibly lightweight, making it possible for it to be suspended from three skyscrapers, that worked as a soft counterpoint to hard-edged architecture. The sculpture for Boston spanned the space where an elevated highway once split the downtown from its waterfront. The knitted artsoared 600 feet through the air above street traffic and the Rose Kennedy Greenway pedestrian park. Its form echoed the history of its location. The three voids recalled the 'Tri-Mountain’ which was razed in the 18th-century to create land from the harbor.
The colored banding represents the six traffic lanes that once passed through this spot, before they were buried and enabled the space to be reclaimed for urban pedestrian life. In daylight the porous form blended with the sky when seen from below, and cast shadow-drawings onto the ground below. At night it became an illuminated beacon. The artwork incorporated dynamic light elements which reflected the changing effects of the wind. Sensors around the site registered fiber movements and tension and this data decided the color of light that was projected on it, making it stand out in the dark sky.
Formerly a painter, Echelman also has an India connection. She began making sculptures in 1997 during a trip to India, when she started experimenting with fishing nets. She has designed installations for cities worldwide, including Phoenix, Denver, Vancouver and Singapore.
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