catherine widgery's leaves of wind turn bus stops into virtual gardens
catherine widgery's leaves of wind turn bus stops into virtual gardens catherine widgery's leaves of wind turn bus stops into virtual gardens
mar 05, 2015
catherine widgery's leaves of wind turn bus stops into virtual gardens


catherine widgery’s leaves of wind turn bus stops into virtual gardens
photo © alex fradkin

 

 

 

‘leaves of wind’ are a series of public works by boston-based artist catherine widgery. the project was commissioned by el paso’s museums and cultural affairs department. the route serves an urban quarter of the city where fast food restaurants, gas stations, and businesses have rendered nature almost invisible. as a solution, widgery fabricated a succession of custom metal screens featuring dramatic images of local flora, and positioned them at stops along the mesa corridor of el paso’s brio rapid transit. the stations provide riders a welcome respite from the blazing texas sun and simultaneously encourage them to reconnect with nature. 


mesita outbound, vitex (summer) 
photo © eve chayes lyman

 

 

 

the concept of ‘leaves of wind’ comes from notions of time, motion, and perceptions of the physical world. in order to manage the incessant visual overload most are faced with everyday, the mind edits out familiarities. to overcome this phenomenon, widgery printed the photographs on the inside faces of the stations’ aluminum screens. as riders approach and depart,  images appear and disappear. using motion and surprise, she captures passerby’s attention to the depictions of nature. plants and flowers from every season are featured, and whoever travels the entire route experiences a full seasonal cycle.


rio grande outbound, tecoma stans (summer)
photo © alex fradkin

 

 

 

visuals were provided by patrick walker, a local photographer mentored by widgery through a program led by the museums and cultural affairs department. integrated aluminum shade-screens by carl daniel architects allowed space for the images without compromising the stations’ ventilation and air flow. landscape architect deborah blea hradek confirmed every chosen plant to ensure it was commonly found in the locale. production of the works was coordinated with help from 3D modeling by isadore michas, grating manufacturer ohio gratings inc., and printing by prolab digital imaging.


franklin inbound, mexican poppy (spring)
photo © eve chayes lyman 


monticello inbound, algerian ivy (fall)
photo © alex fradkin 


monticello inbound, algerian ivy (fall)
photo © alex fradkin


monticello inbound, algerian ivy (fall)
photo © alex fradkin


glory road inbound, latana (summer)
photo © alex fradkin


glory road inbound, latana (summer)
photo © alex fradkin 


franklin outbound, desert wild flower (spring)
photo © eve chayes lyman


festival inbound, chinese pistache (fall)
photo © eve chayes lyman


executive outbound, salvia clevelandii (summer)
photo © eve chayes lyman

 

 

designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.

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