Last week, Greg, Olive, the pug, and I went down to Pawtucket, Rhode Island (USA), to take a look at an art installation called Weaving the Blackstone. This project is the work of sculptor, Donald Gerola. It consists of colorful polyester, nylon, and polypropylene cords that are stretched across the Blackstone River in the area where the old Slater Mill sits. It is a tribute to the city of Pawtucket and pays homage to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and the textile industry that began there in 1790.
I realize that art installations like this one aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But personally, I envy the person, in this case Mr. Gerola, who can look at a rushing river in the shadow of an old mill and imagine something like this. And I admire even more the ability and stamina to carry it out. The article from The Boston Globe states: “It took two archers with high-powered bows - normally used to hunt bear - to get the cords from one side of the river to the other. Vandals cut them twice, forcing Gerola back to the drawing board. He says he spent countless hours with a machete and chain saw clearing brush and trees along the river to make the installation possible.” Now, that’s dedication to public art, which is so important to our humanity.
My photos don’t do it justice because I couldn’t get a good shot of the scope of the project. So my suggestion is that if you find yourself in Pawtucket, RI, take a ride down to the Blackstone River and check it out. I’m pretty sure you won’t be sorry.
The cords are woven at three spots in the installation through over-sized heddles in order to emphasize the weaving theme. Heddles are the part of the loom through which all threads pass.
|Looking across the Blackstone River to the Slater Mill|