During the 5 years that my family and I lived in Garrison NY we often drove past the castle ruins on Bannerman’s Island, just off shore in the Hudson River close to Beacon NY. The mystery and allure of the island was quite powerful but for some reason we never sought to learn much more about it. I think the main reason was that we loved to wonder about it….when was it built and by whom? Why did it remain in such decay? Wondering about links to the past is such a great way to connect with the place where you live. The island’s ethereal and mysterious qualities remained with me long after we moved from the area.
Imagine yourself and thousands of others experiencing the emergence of a new constellation over a unique island in the Hudson River. Every evening, as the sun goes down, starry lights emerge one by one with the stars of the night sky. Hovering around the perimeter of the castle ruin, these lighted points refer to features of the structure still standing, as well as those details which no longer exist—creating a new constellation connecting past and present through this inspiring light-based public art project—bringing new energy to this majestic part of the Hudson River, and the Hudson Highlands State Park.
Last year, I was catching up with my friend, Melissa McGill, an artist who lives in Beacon. She started to passionately describe her newest work, Constellation, a public art project designed to be installed on the Island ruin that had so captured my family’s imagination. The sculptural installation she envisioned would involve a collection of lighted points referring to both the remaining and the no longer visible elements of the castle itself (melissamcgillconstellation.com). Visible every evening as the sun goes down, the work will have numerous vantage points on both shores of the Hudson river and from boats and trains as well.
With a premier slated for June 2015, and a slated life-span of 2-3 years, Melissa has achieved great success in her campaign to see her work become a reality. She has also garnered much support from the art and environmental community and her endorsements are many (endorsements).
As with all public art projects, this one needs the support of those who believe in it. I am so inspired by Melissa. What seemed like a grand proposal….to explore the ruins of a mysterious island and connect them through the power of art to our present day, is getting closer to a reality.
With its first fundraising campaign in full swing, I wanted to let you know about this amazing project and give our Hammertown community a chance to join the Constellation community and help usher this amazing work to its public reality. The Arts are such a valuable resource to the Hudson River towns we know and love. This project, free and accessible to all, will make many connections for all who see it – Connections to the landscape, to history, and to the transformative power of art itself. Check out these links and be inspired.
For more information about the project and supporting its indiegogo campaign: www.indiegogo.com/projects
Social Media is a great way to get the word out about the project. Here is a link to the Facebook Campaign:
Constellation is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Constellation must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.