Virginia Overton: Sculpture Gardens


[music] [Female voice]
It was sort of a testing ground,
in a way. I threw a lot of ideas
at the wall [chuckles] to try to find something
that would take root here. I kept coming back to the wind. I kept coming back to the views. The wind is a huge component
of being out there on the terrace so I wanted to
to capture that or express that in a visual way. The windmills literally
are catching wind, and then there’s a bellows
inside that pumps air and sends air through hoses into the ponds, and this aerates the water,
keeps the plants healthy, and also gives some visual interest or activity on the surface
of the water. Developing that piece
was really complicated because I realized:
one, how many different vantage points you can see
that terrace from, so you can be up high
on the building. You can be on the streets below, inside and outside,
experience it from so many places. The terrace is literally between the Hudson River
and the High Line, and so these aquatic ponds were a gesture of sort of
combining that water element that’s on the west and the
High Line that’s on the east and bringing them together
in one complement. It is part of a conversation about environmentalism
in some way. My process of using and reusing
materials speaks to that. [music] The ham sort of
came about naturally. I mean, it’s a ham, but also it’s from the farm where I grew up. My sister raises pigs
and cures her own hams, and the materials that I use in
sculptures come from the same place. So not maybe literally
from the farm, but my familiarity with wood or my familiarity with metal, or that kind of thing,
stems from that same place. The pieces in the room are almost like a pinball machine,
you know? You can see the pinball go
to one and bounce off and it may bounce to the ham or it may bounce to the little
box that’s the waterfall. The pipe piece
and the pine piece, actually, have both a micro and a macro
way of looking at them. From far away, you can see
these large pieces that function as total objects, and then close up,
when you go in, you see nuances
or different ways to look at them or engage with them. Being inside the galleries
and looking out through the windows
and down the terrace is like a long view out into the city. [music]

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