Recently as I was walking along Park Avenue in Mid-Manhattan, I was struck by a beautiful and surreal sight.
This giant, and very unique, salt water aquarium surrounded by a garden of plants – in the lobby of the Lever House building, at Park Avenue and 53rd Street:
I did a double-take, and went back to stop and stare.
The water is pumped in, and overflow trickles out and down the side of the bell-shaped aquarium, down into the plants. I assume it’s then filtered and pumped back into the aquarium – a beautiful, flowing cycle.
From this website, here’s some of what I have learned about it:
The artist is Paula Hayes, and this installation is called Land Mind.
“What I’m hoping to show here is how beautiful seventy percent of the Earth is — the ocean,” Ms. Hayes said. Bangaii cardinal, firefish, purple-faced firefish, shrimp, snails, clownfish and starfish are a few of the tank’s new inhabitants.
Ms. Hayes’s sculptures—rubber planters, the acrylic planter and aquarium—are all curves and undulations. Visitors will be able to roam through the foliage and peer in on the aquarium.
A bit about Paula Hayes (check out her website – link above):
Ms. Hayes has a studio in a small storefront on East 13th Street with a full-glass window in front that allows passersby to peer in during the day and see the artist’s clear glass terrariums filled with crystals or plants (her trademark works), lining metal shelves inside. Also inside are quietly strange objects like a birdhouse made from UV-stable plastic covered with autobody paint. Presiding over it all is a rambunctious Chihuahua named Diego.
And, this site tells a bit more, including:
The work includes a lush garden of tropical vegetation and a huge salt water aquarium that is filled with coral and a variety of sea life. The project has taken more than 18 months to complete, and included the painstaking fabrication of the tank, a single piece of cast acrylic.
This site has an AWESOME photo by Jesse David Harris, of the window at night. I’d like to share it, here:
I can’t wait to go see it at night. Jesse’s photography has really inspired me!
Also, I want to go back during the day – to go inside and really explore.
I understand that the exhibit will be on display until January 27, 2012. Check it out if you are nearby – it is truly awesome!