Upper Blush

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Client: Norfolk Arts

Location: Norfolk, VA, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $121,000

Project Team

Industry Resource

John Grant

Public Art Sevices

Industry Resource

Nick Geurts

Yetiweurks

Artist

Matthew Geller

Hutabut LLC

Client

Karen Rudd

Norfolk Arts

Overview

The canopy teeters like a seesaw as people sway on the benches. When it rains, water is funneled from the roof through drainpipes to troughs on the ground and then to the adjacent rain garden. By teetering the canopy, those on the benches can determine from which pipe the water drains. 8.5’ x 16’ x 18’. Painted & stainless steel, wood, Lexan, (rain).

Goals

The muse for Upper Blush is an issue critical to Norfolk’s future—rising tides. The circles of light on the ground created by the skylights reference the moon and the teetering and swaying mimic the ebb and flow of the water. The human interaction that influences the balance and the flow of the water serves as a metaphor for larger issues associated with floodwater management.

Process

John Grant (Public Art Services) provided design development and fabrication services for the structure and installation. Nick Geurts (Yetiweurks) provided design and structural engineering services.

Additional Information

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.