Pleasures of Playful Perspectives: Art by Mark Reigelman and Meredith James on the Greenway
“Traditional meeting houses became the community centers and had the defining characteristics of simplicity, equality, peace, and togetherness. …The Meeting House intends to mimic these ideals, highlighting the potential for civic structures to act as gathering points where passersby can explore, question and interact,..”
“The garden imagery and sculpture title reference Alain Resnais’ 1961 film, Last Year at Marienbad. In the film, a woman’s fantasies and memories weave together opulent interiors and gardens into a seamless architectural labyrinth.”
Enlightened and excited by both artists’ presentations* on September 26, I ‘m posting quickly now, just in case you can plan to go before their temporary exhibits vanish October 7 (Reigelman) and October 8 (James). Later on, I’ll hope to trade perspectives in the interactive spirit of these engaging forms of art. *as part of the Playful Perspectives exhibition on the Greenway
Here are resources from the Greenway website that will give background and locations for the two artworks and other intriguing work along the way between them. Click on red text for links. Captions of photos above and below are excerpted quotes from the artists’ statements.
The Meeting House takes inspiration from the simple architecture of the area’s first colonial settlers and was fabricated using traditional materials and techniques.
The precariously-positioned New England Quaker-style structure that sinks into the lawn encourages visitors to explore the area’s built environment, consider the layers of history that make up Boston’s unique landscape, and challenge notions of community.
The sculpture references two significant parts of New England history: the small house-like structure is a reminder of the thousands of displaced residents and demolished homes that resulted from the city’s elevated highway infrastructure project, and the larger house is inspired by the Pembroke Friends Meeting House, which is the oldest surviving Quaker meetinghouse in Massachusetts.
and the larger house is inspired by the Pembroke Friends Meeting House, which is the oldest surviving Quaker meetinghouse in Massachusetts.
Wrapping the walls of the Ames room is a vertical plant installation, commonly referred to as a greenwall.
To the naked eye, the sculpture looks like an off-kilter garden but when viewed from the viewfinder a few feet in front of the piece, the perfectly symmetrical garden frames the radically disproportional people within.
What seems a believable space becomes implausible when a person walking from one side of the room to the other appears to grow or shrink.
Meredith James’ sculpture is an optical illusion called an Ames room – a three-walled trapezoidal room built with a false perspective.
For a guide to other public art on the Greenway and a map, click here.