90ft x 60ft x 13ft (28m x 18m x 4m)
A large-scale public commission for Riverside Park North and the Art Students League of New York's Model to Monument fellowship program with the goal to provide the people of Morningside Heights a place for shade, seating, and meditation. Install in May 2018.
Framed by the backdrop of the Hudson river, Coming Ashore's vertical wave rises up to crest while outward expanding reverberations come out of the ground. The vertical elements provide a visual focal point while the ground elements form an amphitheater of sitting areas for taking in the vista.
For many people coming to Riverside Park North, their first view of Coming Ashore is from 70 feet above, looking down from the elevated Riverbank State Park. Coming Ashore was developed with this aerial view in mind.
As the sun moves across the sky each day, the vertical component casts a shadow that traces the across the ground elements like a sun dial. The 4 ground elements mark the beginning of each season when the shadow aligns perfectly with its shape.
The focus was to provide something ideally suited to the setting - beautiful, meaningful, interactive, and fun.
The ground elements are inspired by the outline of the shadow cast by the upright wave as it moves over the course of each day. However, over the course of each year, the length of the shadow also changes.
Bringing those two elements together on every solstice and equinox, the shadow will land exactly on the outline of one ground element when the hour and minute of the day (with daylight savings-time) matches the month and day of the year. For example, the Winter Solstice occurs on December 21st, or 12/21. So at 12:21pm on 12/21, the shadow will align perfectly with the Winter Solstice ground element.
The dates and times shift due to our 365 ¼ day solar years, so the dates are calculated from the average over the past 100 years:
- Spring Equinox = Mar 20 7:28 UT (2:28am EST)
- Summer Solstice = Jun 21 0:44 UT (Jun 20 7:44pm EST)
- Autumn Equinox = Sep 22 16:47 UT (11:47am EST)
- Winter Solstice = Dec 21 13:53 UT (8:53am EST)
These dates are also the cardinal points for the astrological zodiac, with the sun in zero degrees...
- Aries on the Spring Equinox
- Cancer on the Summer Solstice
- Libra on the Autumn Equinox
- Capricorn on the Winter Solstice
The New York Parks Department had decided that the theme this year was "Wave". Each artist then embarked on designing individual expressions and interpretations of what 'wave' means to them - waves of immigration, waving hello, cyclic nature, harnessing the wind, etc.
Halfway through the year the Art Students League Model to Monument program director Greg Wyatt decided to have the artists attempt to merge their 6 separate sculptures into 3 two-person team collaborations. Needless to say, not a trivial ask. In fact, 3 of the 7 artists were unable to meet the challenge and dropped out of the program - a first in M2M history.
My assigned design partner, Jeff Sundheim, had been exploring spiral line gestures, and seeing no way to merge my many previous iterations, my inspiration came from noticing the shadows that one of Jeff's sculptures cast onto the table.
Isolating the shadow effect really brought out some interesting forms.
Note: All images, video, and 3D renderings shown are of my own creation and are my contribution to the collaboration, except where noted.
Knowing that any horizontal shadows would be dependent upon the final upright wave's form, I created the following 'wave' explorations as design inspirations for Jeff to add his spin.
At each of the specific dates and times of year shown, the shadow of the upright portion of the sculpture will align perfectly with each of the ground forms outlined in green.
Also viewable in video form: https://youtu.be/zuDZzz-8lr8