Heliotropis

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Client: Larry Rubin & Beth Deutch

Location: Rumson, NJ, United States

Completion date: 2010

Artwork budget: $40,000

Project Team

Artist

Anthony Castronovo

Client

Larry Rubin & Beth Deutch

Overview

Heliotropis is a solar powered robotic sculpture made of bronze, glass, and custom electronics. The flower opens each morning and closes each night, while throughout the year the extent of this bloom is based on average temperature. The flower does not open in the middle of winter. A proximity sensor responds to people's presence and causes the flower to wave open and close. The sculpture is approximately 10'x8'x3' in size.

Goals

The goals for integrating artwork into this project were mainly to create an amazing and beautiful work of art that could compliment this very lush and well managed garden space. My goals as an artist were to make something amazing and beautiful while also creating a conceptually rich and meaningful work of art that explores my interest in the relationship of nature and technology. Heliotropis accomplishes my goals by changing its physical form in response to changes in its environment via light, temperature, and human presence. Furthermore, Heliotropis pushes the boundaries of solar art and design by incorporating thin-film solar cells into a curved glass leaf, which generates the power to run the sculpture.

Process

The collaboration process in this project was one based on many conversations and mutual decisions made by myself and the clients, Larry and Beth. There were many design iterations that lead to the final form of Heliotropis. Every design decision I made was mutually vetted by Larry and Beth and the collaboration really drove this process to an amazing level.