MoveWithMe is a community art installation of multiple sailcloth pinwheels that embodies the connection of cultures across waters and land from the past to now, moving in confluence when the wind is just right.
The project transforms Front Street with 369 pinwheels, many of which are hand colored with personal interpretations of cultural patterns from places along Salem’s famous maritime trade.
When still, the pinwheels look like magnolias. They begin to spin sporadically, sometimes just one on a line, at other times multiple pinwheels spin in unison. They surprise. Only intended as a three day installation, the project will stay up through October. The sun has begun to bleach the hand colored patterns, as the sun bleaches the sails of long journeys across the waters.
MoveWithMe re-uses sailcloth donated by Doyle Sailmakers. The minimal design of knotting rope, to keep each pinwheel in place as it spins on its grommet, reduced hardware. Material budget: under $300. The small budget inspires us to be resourceful and mindful in our design: do we need to buy up bulk stock from Home Depot when we can re-use waste products from a local business and also build a relationship? Do we need to buy new materials when using waste product makes much more sense for a temporary project?
As an artist and architect, how can I adapt my vision to changing circumstances? Initially, I envisioned perfectly straight lines of pinwheels in geometric contrast with the flutter of the tree canopies; this would have required strong and costly cables. The use of the rope allowed for flexibility, and creates a different relationship with the context: the pinwheels are no longer in contrast, but rather in dialogue with the organic nature of trees.
The pinwheels were collaboratively created at multiple workshops at PEM/PM’s Artopia, The Phoenix School, Salem Academy, Old Town Hall, and weekly workshops held 10 Derby Square.
#MoveWithMe was installed for the 2016 Salem Arts Festival, and led by Claudia Paraschiv, local architect and community artist.
The community art project transforms a familiar space in Salem through an environmentally and financially sustainable project that is in dialogue with the city’s culture and involves as many people as possible. Participate in next year’s project (TBD) starting February 2017! Sign up on our email list to get early info on participating!