Visual Arts » 3D

Heavy Metal Movement

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When Eskenazi Health commissioned Rob Ley to create an outdoor installation on the hospital's parking infrastructure, his long-held fascination with art in motion kicked in. Considering the piece's size -- 12,500 square feet -- the Los Angeles-based founder of architecture and design studio Urbana decided to switch things up in a big way.

Using 7,000 angled stainless steel panels, produced (and later hoisted into place) by Indianapolis Fabrications, Ley designed a massive visually interactive display he calls May ˗ September. Instead of making his art move, Ley made it static. But he uniquely designed the metal fa├žade so that observers' motions transform its color and shape, depending on their speed and direction passing it. Whether it's a slow-moving pedestrian padding through the parking garage or a speeding motorist cruising past it on West Michigan Street, the panels shift from bright, golden yellow to deep blue. The vantage point of the viewer and the cooperation of the sun and clouds are what provide the whoa-factor visual changes.

The largest public installation iFab had ever worked on, the parking garage exhibit posed plenty of challenges for its crew. The 10-by-26-foot panels (each weighing 1,500 pounds) were like hoisting giant heavy sails into place. Although iFab is no stranger to building large ungainly, but amazing art installations in and around Indy.

Until you can take a joy ride past this one, take a look at this video of its morphing movements.

Rob Ley - May September from Urbana on Vimeo.

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