This week, amidst Lower Manhattan's concrete and asphalt, a flowering meadow will begin to grow. A temporary landscape designed by Julie Farris and Sarah Wayland-Smith, A Clearing in the Streets
, is a new installation commissioned by the Public Art Fund
. Farris, a landscape designer, and Wayland-Smith, an artist and landscape designer, are committed to finding innovative ways to incorporate the natural world into the urban environment. A ten-sided plywood structure located at Collect Pond Park houses a meadow, fifteen feet in diameter, offset by a panoramic interior mural of a vast blue sky. Eight-inch gaps spaced throughout the structure permit controlled visual access to the enclosed landscape, exaggerating the disjunction between the natural ecology growing inside and the architecturally defined exterior. A full plant list is stenciled on one of the exterior panel walls to identify what is growing inside. The constructed design and limited viewing opportunities magnify the natural cyclical processes of the ecology that, over a four month period, will evolve from seeds and seedlings to a lush meadow of flowering native plants and grasses.
Collect Pond Park is located on Leonard Street between Centre and Lafayette Streets.