Beautiful Aerial Sculpture in Florida Recalls An Ugly Past
Being one of those rare people who managed to keep working on her art publicly during a pandemic, Janet Echelman brought her talent to the light with the help of a large team.
St. Petersburg's recently opened huge waterfront Pier hosts Janet Echelman's timely piece of art, Bending Arc. The aerial sculpture is made of over one million knots and 180 miles (approx. 290 km) of twine, with a height of 72 feet (21.9 m) at its tallest point.
The artist had her inspiration for her latest work from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s quote in 1968: “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The latitudinal-expanding work of art had its slowly billowing arcs of twine in different shades of blue, changing from black to white with a historical fact to attract attention to the ugly truth.
Inspiration from 65 years ago
It is explained on the artist's website that she learned of the site’s important Civil Rights Movement significance, as she was progressing in the design process.
As a brief history, six black people demanding entrance by purchasing tickets to the pool in St. Petersburg were turned down, in 1955. Suing the city and taking it to the Supreme Court, the black community won the battle 2 years later, reports Fast Company. That revolutionary win back then left its place to a captivating work of art now.
Change is the base
Inspired by different fields such as Sculpture, Architecture, Urban Design, Material Science, Structural & Aeronautical Engineering, Echelman chose to create her latest installation with floating lights on the top of the waterfront Pier, “The sky is the canvas for my artwork,” says Echelman. "During this pandemic, it offers a place for people to share an authentic experience while staying safe.”
With an approach of encircling change in her works, Echelman's installation changes when it's day or night.
The aerial sculpture casts a shadow on the park during the day and transforms into a source of light leaking magenta and violet in the dark, explains the statement we received from Janet Echelman.