The Jersey City Waterfront never fails to enchant. It enthralls each time with bewitching views of the Manhattan skyline from various vantage points.
One latest spellbinding spot overlooking the Hudson waters is a new public space sculpture from Spanish artist and sculptor Jaume Plensa called “Water’s Soul.”
A giant figurative young lady facing New York City casts a spell on the crowd asking for silence and hark on the profound sound of the flowing waters. In her massive presence, you are compelled to pause for a moment, reflect and tune in to the sphere, here and now. We are all present in this hustling, on the go, buried cityscape, and here is a sculpture that commands respite, hiatus, and relief.
Then again, there is the towering realization that the water in itself is a significant public space. It connects Jersey City and New York City; it coalesces communities. It is a place you can keep returning to again and again.
Generally, art can invoke sentiments and emotions. But, not only by itself. Mostly, the spirit that surfaces is in relation to the settings. In contrast to “Water’s Soul” is Jaume Plensa’s work “Sanna” in Napa, California, or “Les Trois Alchimistes” in France. These works are set in open landscapes, pristine settings, and omnipresent calm and solitude. Here, these sculpted figurines are more so creating established places and strengthening people’s connection with the place they are set in. By and large, they are simply placemaking, pivoting on impressions and ambiance.
However, here in Jersey City, the young lady in white marble dust is doing more than that. She palpates and nudges folks who are lost in the constant citified pace, drudgery, and toil. In essence, she pokes and prods to hush, stand still and take a breathing spell. Time Out! Breakoff!
Just a little bit more …
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