Friday, January 16, 2015

The Phoenix

One of Celia's friends mentioned an 'art installation' in the Church of St John the Divine, in Morningside Heights, so, well rugged up, Celia and I  headed out to check it out.
What a surprise Called the Phoenix it is a creation of  Xu Bing a 59 yr old conceptual artist who works in a variety of mediums.
The Project started in 2008 when he was asked to create a sculpture for a glass atrium at the base of a new building designed by architect Cesar Pelli  in Beijings central business district But when he visited the site he was shocked by the working conditions, as well as the low tech they had to use, so he decided to make the Phoenix rising as it were form the debris of the workers tools and what he salvaged form the construction site
The Phoenixes arrived in New York in Late Feb 2014 on 9 flatbed trucks. 
Imagine the traffic when their arrived!!! I think they closed the street at night to bring them in.

So what are they you ask??
Two birds made entirely of reclaimed construction site materials, and hanging in the Cathedral of St John The Divine.

Check out the link from Mass. MoCA where it was initially exhibited in USA, with more detail of it's construction and installation.
The Cathedral Church also has a children's Peace fountain with all these wonderful bronze sculptures around it.

 The Peace Fountain was sculpted by Cathedral Artist-in-Residence Greg Wyatt to mark the 200th anniversary of the Diocese of New York in 1985. The 40 foot-high bronze sculpture weaves together several representations of the conflict between good and evil. Above, the Archangel Michael embraces one of nine giraffes (said to be the most peaceful of creatures) after his defeat of Satan. Below, the lion lies down with the lamb. The fountain’s spiraling base takes inspiration from the double-helix of DNA. On either side of the fountain, moon- and sun-like faces direct their gazes toward and away from Amsterdam Avenue.

Around the fountain’s basin are a series of small bronze animal sculptures created by K-12 students from New York City and tri-state area public, private, and parochial schools. Collectively known as the Children’s Sculpture Garden, they represent the diverse community the Cathedral strives to serve and represent. 

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