throughout Reiman Gardens from April 28 – November 3
Wind, Waves and Light will feature 13 kinetic sculptures designed to explore space, time, and the dynamic relationship of objects in motion. The choreography of each piece is governed by a set of basic movements, facilitated by an arrangement of aerodynamic surfaces connected by rotational points. The sculptures are made of stainless steel, and the reflective qualities integrate each sculpture into its environment. Wind speed and direction, shades of light, time of day, precipitation, and seasonal color transform the qualities of light and movement of the sculptures. George Sherwood, an award-winning American sculptor, was born and raised in the coastal town of Fairfield, Connecticut. He now lives and works in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and holds degrees in both art and engineering.
Inspired by forms, such as the sun, ocean gyres, and marine invertebrates called crinoids—like sea lilies and feather fish. With fringed arms, these cup-shaped echinoderms resemble underwater flowers. Feather fish roam by alternately bending five or more arms back and forth to move through rocky bottoms. A gyre is a circular system of ocean currents that spirals around a point and are influenced by earth’s rotation.
The rainbow-like colors in soap bubbles and oil slicks are caused by an effect called optical interference. This natural phenomenon occurs when light waves bounce off different parts of a thin film and interfere, or cancel each other out. Instead of being absorbed, visible light is reflected in all the various colors of the spectrum.
Water connects all life, but there is the same amount of it on earth today as there was when the earth was formed. Water moves in a constant cycle: what goes in the ground or into the sky circles back around for life to reuse. Every living thing needs water to survive.
Have you ever watched a flock of birds as they seemingly move as one through the air, changing direction with the wind and creating beautiful, pulsating shapes in the sky? This flocking behavior is referred to as collective motion, and it also describes the movement patterns of schools of fish, swarming insects and bacteria, and sometimes even plants that spread their roots evenly along with their neighbors.
Look at the numbers in the following sequence. Do you notice a pattern? 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 . . . If you start by adding 1 + 1, you’ll get the next number, 2. Then add 1 + 2 to get 3. Continue adding the next two numbers in the sequence to get the following number. These numbers make up the Fibonacci sequence, a pattern of numbers that can be found all over in nature.
“Is it our memory or the memory of the sculpture? Can a sculpture have memory?” ~ George Sherwood. The word reflection can refer to light cast off of a surface, or to the process of serious thought. Whether or not you believe a sculpture can have memory, it is understood that regularly moving one’s body can have a positive, long-term
effect on the mind.
A sea lily is an organism rooted to the ocean floor that resembles an underwater flower. With delicate fringed arms, these cup-shaped echinoderms resemble exotic
underwater flowers. Thought to be extinct until the late 1800’s, sea lilies are found rooted to the ocean floor on long stalks in deep waters from Japan to Australia.
The ocean is in constant motion. Sculpting seawater into crested, fanlike shapes, most waves transmit energy from the wind to move water on the ocean’s surface in a circular direction. Shallow tidal waves are caused by the pull of the sun and moon on the earth, whereas long waves, like tsunamis, can be caused by underwater disturbances like earthquakes and volcanoes.
Though this sculpture studies the abstracted twisting and craning of large shore birds at rest, most bird bodies are made to fly. Seabirds are streamlined to dive at high speeds into the ocean for fish, while hawks have a large wingspan, allowing them
to soar at great speeds. Hummingbirds consistently flap their wings to hover and can fly in all directions, even backwards and upside down!
We often think water appears blue because of the way light scatters in the sky, but that is not the case. Water molecules absorb the red end of the visible light spectrum, causing the blue end of the spectrum to reflect. In fact, light absorption in water is caused by atoms vibrating and absorbing different wavelengths of light.
We are only able to see the world around us—from buildings and roads to animals, plants, people, and water—because of light. Objects that do not emit their own light (such as the sun, fire, or electric sources), must reflect light in order for us to see it. As light hits a smooth, flat object like a mirror or still water, it bounces off at the same angle, and we see a “reflection” staring back at us.
“The premise for this sculpture was to create one moving line in space. The idea evolved into a flowing, graceful motion of organic/plant systems, bending, twisting, and curling.” ~ George Sherwood. Each of George Sherwood’s sculptures moves as a result of aerodynamic surfaces rotating or shifting position around stainless steel ball bearings.
Wind is an invisible, natural force of energy originating from the sun. Unevenly heating the earth, the sun creates warm and cool spots with resulting breezes. Hot air rises, so when land heats up in the sun, cool air from bodies of water rushes in beneath it; as land cools at night, the reverse occurs.