Client: Art Omi
Location: Ghent, NY, United States
Completion date: 2019
Artwork budget: $75,000
Public Art Services
Babble, Pummel, and Pride, II is sited in a picturesque corner of the Art Omi's wetland pond and creates a unique gathering space. The roofed structure with its swinging benches and fountain pumping water from the pond onto the roofs gives viewers a chance to be lulled by the babble of the fountain, but also threatened by the possibility of entering the spray zone. A true folly in the landscape. 25' x 12.5' x 10.5'. Glass, corten steel, water, stainless steel, wood.
Unlike Ghent’s 19th-century water-powered grist-, saw-, and fulling-mills that harnessed waterpower, Babble, Pummel & Pride, II, uses water to create its own inclement weather. A hybrid of a greenhouse, a gazebo, a porch swing, and a fountain, Babble subverts the traditional pond fountain by directing the water out of the pond and, in winter, washing the snow off of the glass canopy and glazing it with a blanket of ice.
Matthew Geller’s public artwork purposefully uses materials from our everyday outdoor environment—anything from benches, to swings, to canopies, to water pipes—and brings them into the realm of art. He creates a level of connection to the familiar while bringing in elements of awe and amusement. Often the sites and vernaculars he works with have been marginalized in some form: the controlled chaos of industrial infrastructure (Chroma Booster, Nautical Swing, and Open Channel Flow), the abandoned limb of an amusement park ride (I ought to, Upper Blush, and As Rose as Rain), or the aging tree in a public park (Woozy Blossom and Cypress Landing). He takes these abject artifacts and retrofits them to create a micro public square or landmark that encourages creative patterns of use.
I use materials from the everyday outdoor environment—anything from benches, to swings, to canopies, to water—& bring them into the realm of art. I create a level of connection to the familiar while highlighting elements of awe & beguilement, often using existing artifacts from the site and retrofitting them to create a micro public square or landmark that encourages creative patterns of use. The artwork becomes part of the community's fabric & integral in shaping the way we live in public space. The idea is to surprise while fostering a sense of community around an unlikely object or site.