‘Murmuration’, by Yvonne Bobo was designed and installed this past summer of 2016 as a gateway entrance in Overton Park for the Overton Park Conservancy in Memphis. Overton Park has achieved such great things over the years and this is just another to add to the list! As a regular at Overton Park, I was among the many other walkers, runners, cyclists and golfers overcome with intrigue at the developing sculpture. Each day of the process a new facet was revealed until finally everything came together! Approaching the forest, the gateway sympathetically blends into the thick forest backdrop, yet from the opposite direction the sculpture is beautifully silhouetted against the horizon.
As quoted from Memphis Daily News, “They wanted to highlight the forest,” Bobo said of the conservancy. “So I tried to bring out some of the creatures from the forest. It’s like a flight of birds – not a specific bird – flying around in their patterns and trying to capture their movement.”
It’s interesting to discover that the steel and bronze installation was built in Bobo’s shop before having to be cut apart and reassembled in the park due to its size. Even more than this, what is fascinating to me is the fact that instead of preventing rust, which I imagine is a dirty word to most working with metal (!) Bobo applied different solutions to encourage the rusting process. For a more detailed read as well as a sneak peak for the remaining two gateways to be installed, you can go to the Overton Park blog.
If you happen upon this installation, you will find it difficult to resist walking up and reaching out to touch just one of the two hundred steel and bronze mounted birds. Being up close and personal brought out two greater appreciations; such beautiful tones and pigmentation are accentuated through this rusting process, especially as the sunlight hits the different angles. As well as a greater sense of the motion, flurry and direction which I’ve tried to capture in the below images.
Yvonne Bobo is currently working on an installation for The Children’s Hospital in Knoxville but more of her installations can be found in many public art spaces around Memphis. Be sure to visit her website and keep a look out for her work around the city!