Way Beyond Wind Chimes: Kinetic Sculpture

9 Oct

This summer when I visited on Orcas Island, Washington, my sister took us to see a remarkable outdoor art gallery. The artist, Anthony Howe, works primarily in stainless steel, though he also uses copper and other mediums, some of which can be seen in his tiny indoor gallery. Many of Howe’s sculptures – I’m not certain that’s the correct word… “mobiles” perhaps, or “glorious wind chimes” might be better – hang from trees, and I had seen his work around town – my sister actually owns one – and been intrigued. I hadn’t realized, however, that he also has a fantastic outdoor Sculpture Garden with his non-hanging pieces and that people are free (literally, at no cost) to come and visit his fascinating works and experience all that his art has to offer.

I wish I could capture the movement. I love this piece – the spins, the swirls, the ballet…

Many – if not all – of his pieces have movable parts and his breezy location on the side of Double Hill with a fantastic view of Eastsound Bay is perfect to show off his art to the fullest. The movable parts are also “musical”, and it was never silent in the outdoor gallery due to the tinkling, spiraling, or blowing bits of metal on metal.

This kinetic gallery not only makes art physically accessible to people, but it also serves to introduce those who perhaps do not see themselves as art-lovers to a world where art and science collide. It pleases artists and engineers alike. It is impossible to see the moving, spinning, bouncing pieces without finding something to admire.

Imagine all of the little bits spinning and twisting.

It was a fantastic hour of discovery for my kids. They learned to see themselves in new ways – through mirrored, movable mosaics, for example – and they saw how science and art can come together to give us magical and memorable moments.

If you are unable to visit Orcas Island and the Howe Art Gallery in person, never fear! His website is easily accessible and gives a full description of his works, history and philosophy. It also contains many photographs of his art and gives contact and ordering information. http://www.howeart.net

We could hardly drag Boo away from it. Either she’s a great art-lover or a little egotistical. Or perhaps it just works perfectly for both.

This photo doesn’t do it justice. I think of this piece as a sailing ship for fairies. Sailing through the air, of course. It also reminds me of the movie Time Bandits.

Bubbles? Or legs?

He flies through the air with the greatest of ease.

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Sine indoor pieces.

Again, not a great shot, but I really liked the shadows…

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19 Responses to “Way Beyond Wind Chimes: Kinetic Sculpture”

  1. gardenfreshtomatoes October 9, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Wonderful stuff, Gretchen. Outdoor installations are so much fun…there’s a sculpture garden in Paris with kinetics by a Japanese artist (name lost somewhere in the reccesses of the brain), but they’re not nearly as nice as these.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 9, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      Oh, interesting. It really is a great place and fascinating for all ages! I wish I had artistic ability. But God didn’t seem to think I needed that. I guess writing is enough to be getting on with!

  2. treadlemusic October 9, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    That is FABULOUS!!!!! Someday DH would love to take a trip that direction (his “bucket list”) and I will have remember this place. Love wind chimes of ALL types. Reminds me of the scenes in the movie “Twister” with the gal’s yard full of such creations (not on this level, however!!!!) that begin to turn/twist just before the storm hits!!!! Awesome post!!!!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

      Thank you! I love wind chimes, too. So pleasing. And yes, you must take a trip out that way and when you do I can tell you all about it! I’d forgotten about that in Twister – definitely a neat scene.

      • treadlemusic October 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

        Yup, one of my faves!!!

  3. ceciliag October 9, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    How fantastic, i desperately want the one with the wings! Makes me want to take up welding again in my spare time!! ha ha ha .. c

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      Yes, your spare time! Ha! They really are neat, yes. My sister does a little welding from time to time. I have a flower she’s made and a frog…well, maybe my nephew made the frog…with my sister’s plasma cutter…but, either way, it’s neat stuff!

  4. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen October 9, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    These are just incredible!! I think c needs one of these in the yard at the farmy! I can imagine it is like a fairytale wandering around there!!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      I know, she does need one – I wish I could send one her way! Yesterday I pulled out an acorn squash recipe I have of yours from last fall. I can’t wait to make it again!

      • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen October 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

        I saw a stuffed sweet potato recipe.. I was going to invent one, but it’s been done.. it looked amazing:) And Rufus has a wonderful Butternut squash stuffed with risotto… :)

        • Gretchen O'Donnell October 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

          Oh, a recommendation! I’ll have to check that out…

  5. Minnesota Prairie Roots October 9, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Unbelievably creative art. Looks like Lucy really appreciated the art. I love when art appeals to all ages.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

      Yes, it is great when that happens. There are many, many awesome artists on Orcas – the potters (from that post of mine a couple months ago) included!

  6. Jenny October 9, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    It was a fun trip! I hadn’t been there for a couple of years and all the new stuff was amazing! I also wish people could see and hear the movements. Especially the circular ones; they spin in on themselves. The flower ones look like they could suck things in them, like a mouth or a black hole type of thing! And of course the other side looks like it’s coming out at you. Just fascinating! And all the little mirrors are rotating in the mirrored ones. So Boo couldn’t always see herself as she was standing in front of it! They would work well in your breezy neck of the woods!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

      Yes, I wish I’d taken video of it. He has video posted on his web site, though I haven’t watched it yet. I need to. Yes, spinning in on themselves – good way to describe it. So cool. Glad that they aren’t black holes – you’d cut yourself if you were sucked in! Yes, they’d be amazing here. I can just hear the mid-western reactions!

  7. hotlyspiced October 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    Those works are amazing. I wonder how long it took to set up the exhibit. xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

      I have a feeling that the exhibit is semi-permanent. I’m guessing that when he sells a piece, it goes and something new fills its place and that other things are added rutinely. That’s my guess, anyway!

  8. whatimeant2say October 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    He should send this exhibit on tour! It is absolutely amazing!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 12, 2012 at 7:13 am #

      Yeah, I agree. It would be a huge job to ship them…I wonder how he does that?! Wooden crates, I suppose…

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