‘Wavehenge’ Sundial Amphitheater
PUBLIC INSTALLATION IN RIVERSIDE PARK
90ft x 60ft x 13ft (28m x 18m x 4m)
A commission from the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the Art Students League of New York's Model to Monument fellowship program for large-scale public art.
Most people’s first glimpse of Riverside Park North is from 70 feet above - the entrance on top of Riverbank State Park. Access to such a unique aerial viewpoint was a focal point for the concept - a gigantic sundial made of a steel wave (the ‘gnomon’ in sun-dial speak), surrounded by benches that curve with the shape of the shadow. From 70 feet above, the vision of a clock-face starts to emerge.
With the Hudson river right there, the first thing to come to mind is a giant wave rising up, cresting above 4 ‘rafts’ that bob in its wake below. These ‘rafts’ are seating areas to lounge on, sit or read. They also hold a secret:
4 times a year, at a specific time, the shadow will perfectly align with each of the benches.
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.
THE NUTS AND BOLTS…
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)
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.