Far from this setting in which I now find myself


Title: Public interacting with the artwork, showing how the artwork is theatrical and playful at the same time.
Photo Credit: Meredith James
Lead Artist(s):

Meredith James' sculpture is an optical illusion called an Ames room - a three-walled trapezoidal room built with a false perspective. What seems a believable space becomes implausible when a person walking from one side of the room to the other appears to grow or shrink. James' sculptures and installations depend on the viewer's interaction; it is only through an active process of looking - through a peephole - that a piece becomes complete. In this artwork, both viewer and participant become part of the installation and the sculpture itself becomes a stage for their actions. To the naked eye, the sculpture looks like an off-kilter garden but when viewed through the viewfinder, the perfectly symmetrical garden frames the radically disproportional people within. Between walking around in the room and taking photographs through the peephole, visitors can experience a gap between what they perceive and what another sees. James has created a park within a park, placing her sculpture so that the Boston sky completes the illusion, merging sculpture with reality. The garden imagery reference Alain Resnais' 1961 film, Last Year at Marienbad. In the film, a woman's fantasies and memories weave together opulent interiors and gardens into a seamless architectural labyrinth. The garden featured in both the film and this sculpture is the Nyphenburg Palace garden outside of Munich, Germany. Wrapping the walls of the Ames Room is a vertical plant installation, commonly referred to as a greenwall. This collaboration between the Horticulture staff of The Greenway and the artist, softens the connection between the park lawns and the sculpture, and provides an exciting opportunity to explore greenwall concepts. Many of which were replanted in the autumn to permanent homes in Greenway gardens.

Public Space
The North End parks reflect the comfortable scale of the adjacent North End neighborhood. Spacious lawns surrounded by densely planted perimeter beds define these parks that were designed by Crosby, Schlessinger, Smallridge LLC and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd. Along the eastern edge, a trellis “pergola” covers a long “front porch” that provides both a place for sitting and an overlook for the lawn and the historic architecture beyond. A shallow water “canal” runs the length with vertical water jets adding sparkle and movement. This fountain harkens back to a century ago when a canal connected the harbor to important industrial operations. The parks include ideal spots for storytelling programs in the summer, picnics or sunbathing on the grass, and enjoying lunch or a snack from one of the nearby North End or Haymarket establishments. Children love the canal where they can wet their feet or watch their flip flops swirl around. It’s a great place to relax at the end of the day, meet friends, or watch passersby to your heart’s content. Plants displayed here evoke a formal feel of past European style gardens with boxwood hedges enclosing a colorful array of spring blooming daffodils and summer perennials. Favorite perennials found here are Russian sage, lavender, purple cone flower, iris, and daylilies. Several flowering trees and shrubs encircle the gardens.
North End Park - Rose Kennedy Greenway
Hanover and Cross Street
Boston, MD 02109
United States

click the map to enlarge

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

under $50K
Environmental Art, Installation, Sculpture
Metal, Painting, Wood
wood, metal, and acrylic paint