Gazing Globes is the new outdoor installation in Madison Square Park. The Artist, Paula Hayes, draws on a Victorian-era custom to foster good luck by displaying a hand-blown glass decorative orb in outdoor gardens. It was said that the orbs, a practice which originated in 16th-century Venice had a mystical character and held magical powers.
Ms Hayes’ globes are a present-day nod to the orbs of the past in every way. Held on fiberglass pedestals of varying heights, each globe is filled with all she has salvaged from the way we live today. You might find radio parts or transistor parts in some of them and glass vacuum tubes, glass beads and shredded rubber tire parts in others. There is the addition of crystals, minerals and a sprinkling of fairy dust, made from pulverized CDs. The end result is a globe filled with everyday castoffs.
On view are eighteen transparent globes, lit from within and covering the West Gravel area of the park. The globes are spaced well for public viewing, as we watched the curious hovering over them inspecting and identifying the treasures within. They vary in size from 16″ to 18″ with one 24″ in diameter.
Originally from Concord, Massachusetts, Paula Hayes has called New York City her home for over two decades. In addition to her Madison Square Park installation, which went up on February 19th, Ms Hayes has another magical exhibit at Salon 94 in the Bowery entitled Morning Glory. In this exhibit she uses flickering lights to represent ghosts of old women dancing in the sky. Morning Glory will be on through March 22nd. Gazing Globes will be up in Madison Square Park through April 19th.
Just East of the orbs is a little petite cabin, which might seem part of the installation but it’s actually the Momofuku Milk Bar Pop Up that opened on February 2nd.