Wednesday, December 12, 2012

El Anatsui and the High Line

Last week we took advantage of some remarkably mild weather to walk the High Line in New York. This is a linear, elevated park built on an old rail line, a couple of storeys above the neighbourhoods of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. It stretches from 14th to 30th Streets, and offers wonderful views of the bustling city below. It's an oasis of tranquility in the heart of all that urban energy.

The High Line is tended by volunteers, and its gardens are filled with about two hundred plant species. In the garden soil you can see the steel tracks of the former railroad. The paving stones make the High Line easy to walk, and there are frequent and varied clusters of seating for those who wish to take a break. Visitors are intrigued by a number of art installations along the path.

One of the most recent works of art is Broken Bridge II, by my favourite Nigerian sculptor, El Anatsui. It measures 157 feet wide and 37 feet high. Made of pressed tin and mirrors, it forms a wall that reflects the sky and the buildings of the neighbourhood. The rusted metal is a patchwork of overlapping squares and rectangles.

To find out more about the public art on the High Line, click here.

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