The outdoor art installations defining public spaces

The outdoor art installations defining public spaces

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson Atmospheric wave wall Chicago EQ Office

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is well known for merging environmental commentary with innovative ways to bring art to the public realm. His latest installation, Atmospheric wave wall, extends across the facade of EQ’s Office’s Willis Tower in Chicago. Comprising a vast tiled wall, the piece appears to respond to the motion of those who move past, as well as shifts in the weather and sunlight. As Eliasson explains, ‘Inspired by the unpredictable weather that I witnessed stirring up the surface of Lake Michigan, Atmospheric wave wall appears to change according to your position and to the time of day and year. What we see depends on our point of view: understanding this is an important step toward realising that we can change reality.’ For the colour palette, a sea of blues, greens and white tones, Eliasson drew inspiration from the stirring water surfaces of nearby Lake Michigan and the Chicago river.;

Image courtesy of EQ Office

Writer: Harriet Lloyd-Smith

Willis Tower, The Loop
Chicago, US
Outdoor installation The Seed, by Es Devlin at Jubail Island, Abu Dhabi

Conceived for the UAE’s official 49th National Day celebrations on 2 December, The Seed, devised by British artist, set designer and artistic director Es Devlin, has now become a destination in its own right. Hovering above the water by Jubail Island, Abu Dhabi, the cube-shaped moving image sculpture charts an evolution of a plant, from seed to propagation. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the sculpture from a newly-created, socially-distant beach area until 30 January 2021 surrounded by the island’s mangrove forests. All proceeds generated from ticket sales will fund a mangrove conservation programme.

Writer: Harriet Lloyd-Smith
Jubail Island
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Wander Art london outdoor exhibition featuring Fernando Laposse Wild Lights in Mayfair, London

Late last year, a series of curious, site-specific art and design installations began popping up in London’s Mayfair and Belgravia. Titled ‘Wander Art’, and curated by Alter-Projects, the outdoor exhibition trail comprises new artworks by prominent international and London-based creatives curated on two themes. ‘Urban Jungle’ in Mayfair features bold, vibrant work by the likes of Yinka Ilori and Fernando Laposse. Laposse’s playful Wild Lights sees colourful sloths dangling from the pillared entrance to the Mercato Mayfair. Yinka Ilori’s installation, In Plants, We Trust serves as a reminder for the importance and beauty of the natural world in urban spaces. In Belgravia, ‘Pop Metropolis’ focuses on altering urban perceptions through the unexpected and includes work by Richard Woods, Jordan Södeberg Mills and Kinska. As outdoor art continues to soar in popularity, albeit out of necessity, the trail presents a safe space for art appreciation and a spirit lifter in challenging times. Wander Art will be on view until June 2021.

Pictured: Fernando Laposse, Wild Lights 
Writer: Harriet Lloyd-Smith
Mayfair & Belgravia
London, UK

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