Paula Hayes’ Gorgeous Gazing Globes Brighten Madison Square Park
I realize it’s only been a few weeks since I was last excited about something going on in Madison Square Park–Snow Monsters! Hot Chocolate Cereal Milk!–but since this beautiful city of ours just keeps on giving, there’s once again something new to add to your list of fun things to check out in the area. Starting in mid February and running through April 19 (when it will–maybe?–be WARM again!!), the West Gravel plaza at the park’s southern end is home to 18 magical gazing globes, filled with all sorts of mysterious, “ancient” relics, courtesy of artist and landscape designer Paula Hayes. AND you can still get amazing sweet treats at the Momofuku Milk cabin!
Paula Hayes’ Plant Terrariums
Paula Hayes is probably best known for her unique, beautiful plant terrariums, which have been on exhibition at the likes of the Museum of Modern Art and Lever House, but this Gazing Globes installation is her first-ever outdoor sculptural piece in New York City. And it really is quite lovely, especially if you catch it mid- to late-afternoon, when the sunlight sets off a sparkly show within each globe. Or come at night, when the Gazing Globes GLOW. It’s been too cold for me to get over there after sundown just yet, but judging from some Instagrams I’ve seen, this seems like it’d be worth a detour if you’re dining or strolling in the area some less-frigid night in the near future.
Glass Blown Gazing Globes
In the Middle Ages, apparently, gazing globes were a common decorative touch in the gardens of nobelmen. Made of hand-blown glass, these orbs were thought to possess magical powers and ward off evil spirits. And while Hayes created her updated versions using transparent polycarbonate, filling them with the detritus of the contemporary age–upcycled radio parts, industrial odds and ends, shredded rubber tires, acrylic stalagmites, plastic debris, all sprinkled with a “fairy dust” made of ground-up CDs–we can certainly hope and believe that these Gazing Globes will also bestow good luck to all who look within them. They’re certainly pretty cool, no matter what..
For More Information on Paula Hayes’ Gazing Globes in Madison Square Park
Paula Hayes’s Gazing Globes are installed in the West Gravel area in Madison Square Park, near the entrance at 23rd Street and Broadway. The Gazing Globes will be on view through April 19. More information can be found here.