In Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, 7,000 pinwheels are spinning life into a previously underused enclave.
This Monday morning, children and families could be found enjoying the Rose Garden (not to be confused with the Cranford Rose Garden) by the Grand Army Plaza where a temporary installation by New York–based architect Suchi Reddy is celebrating the park’s 150 anniversary.
Known as The Connective Project, the work has been open to the public since Friday, though, thanks to inclement weather, Reddy’s work has only truly been enjoyed from the weekend onwards. But perhaps the rain was helpful. Reddy, speaking to The Architect’s Newspaper (AN) yesterday morning, said how she had initially wanted to fill the three pools to reflect the brightly-colored installation; the sight of whirring yellow pinwheels augmented by the rippling water would have been a small spectacle to behold. Unfortunately, this couldn’t happen as fixing the pools’ to make the hold water was too costly. Now some rainwater remains and children can be found playing in the pits that have been turned into mini amphitheaters.
“We initially started with orange, though my preference was white as it stands out against the green” Reddy continued, speaking of the pinwheel’s color. Instead, the firm settled on yellow, producing what Reddy describes as a “wonderful golden wave.” The Indian-born architect has been practicing for 15 years and her firm, Reddymade Design, now works out of Greenwich Village. Reddy added how she was fascinated by pinwheels as a child (and still evidently is) and also chose the shape because she wanted to use an object that would be relatable for all.
The pinwheels can be found in three sizes and reside at four different heights; all are perched atop stainless steel rods placed ten inches into the ground. Their orientation and spacing were worked out by Reddy’s entire office to produce an undulating mirage of yellow and—thanks to the site’s topography—partial views through the installation as well. “I didn’t want it to be a static installation just about one thing,” explained Reddy. “We wanted to introduce a layer of complexity and create a scene that you can see through.”
Up close, one can find that some pinwheels are unique and made from rain-proof dust stone paper. After a weekend workshop run by the park, visitors have added their own designs by drawing onto the pinwheels. Some were also printed with artwork already on them; AREA4, the events management group consulted by the Prospect Park Alliance who hired Reddy, facilitated pre-submitted designs.
Though only having been open for three days, pathways etched into the grass around The Connective Project indicate the installation is drawing the attention of many, despite its difficulty to find. (Do not, as this author can testify, use Google Maps to locate the installation. Enter by the Grand Army Plaza and follow the yellow pinwheels painted on the ground.)
Reddy’s work is only on view until July 17th, so hurry before the pinwheels go.