Outdoor Sculptures Enliven Governors Island
Nature Rules!, the 28th Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition on Governors Island, organized by the Brooklyn Artists Waterfront Coalition (BWAC), opened June 5 and runs through October 10. Fifteen sculptures created by 16 artists (Go-Hein is a collaborative duo) from around the country are situated along the car-free biking and walking paths around the southern side of the island.
The works were chosen selected from an open call of originally 50 submissions by Ursula Clark, Richard Brachman, Ty and management of Governors Island. Clark and Brachman are also participating artists. The Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition usually takes place in NYC’s only state park—the area between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. This year, that area is under construction. This is their first year on Governors Island.
Two participating artists, Nathanial Hein and Jennifer Gonzales (aka Go Hein) both teach art at the University of Memphis, in Tennessee. They installed their work, titled Post Consumer Suffocation: Greenhouse in an area near the barracks. The work consists of a PVC greenhouse building with small bags of dirt in lieu of walls. Each bag, printed with a child-suffocation warning label, is filled with soil and seedlings. During the four-month exhibition, the seeds sprout, use up their resources and die, a metaphor for our dwindling natural resources. Hein and Gonzales have recycled this piece by installing it in several outdoor sculpture festivals, notably Sculpture Key West 2009.
Installing on the island was challenging, as all materials had to be brought over by ferry and access to the island during the week is limited to staff and personnel. Go Hein learned the hard way not to miss the last ferry…. during the installation, they were stranded for several hours before a tugboat came to the rescue.
Additional participating artists include Richard Brachman, Coral Lambert, Jackson Martin, Miggy Buck, Bernard Klevickas and others. This exhibition is part of a larger program of art exhibitions, concerts, tours, picnics, festivals and performances that take place all summer on Governor’s Island. Governor’s Island is open Saturday and Sunday and accessible via a free ferry that leaves from Manhattan or Brooklyn.