‘CONSTELLATION’ TRANSFORMS CASTLE RUINS INTO PUBLIC ART ON THE HUDSON RIVER

By Maddie Heaney

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Constellation celebrated its grand opening this past weekend, turning the historic ruins of Bannerman Castle into a thought-provoking art installation on the Hudson River. Working with a team of lighting experts at Niche Modern, local artist Melissa McGill installed a series of LED lights encased in sapphire glass orbs atop aluminum poles ranging from 40 to 80 feet. During the day, these structures emphasize the idea of absence versus presence, highlighting parts of the castle that still stand while bringing out details that no longer exist. At dusk, the globes twinkle, creating a beautiful constellation in the twilight sky.

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The seemingly abandoned island – floating in the Hudson between Cold Spring and Beacon – holds a lot of history. During the Revolutionary War, American soldiers set up a wall of underwater spikes in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the British from coming up the river. Many different tribes, fisherman and bootleggers also used the island as a trading post. When Constellation lit up this past weekend, the history was very apparent.

The installation is viewable by land – on east and west sides of the Hudson River – and accessible by sea until the summer of 2017. Take a scenic boat tour made possible by the Bannerman Castle Trust’s Estuary Steward or get as close as you can on kayak through the Storm King Adventure Tours.

Constellation is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Donations to the project are ongoing and can be made here.

 

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