Imagine escaping the hustle and bustle of city life and sailing off to a stunning island that’s also a hive of art activity – in just 10 minutes. Well, I’ve discovered that if you live in New York, you can do just that! Governors Island is a former military base and a national park that has been transformed into a cultural destination. All it takes is a short hop on a ferry to get to this picturesque art and architecture hub where you will find a host of art galleries and coffee shops – always an excellent combination!
Historical Structures Transformed into Contemporary Masterpieces
My first stop was Nolan Park. Here I happened upon a timeworn stone chapel – Chapel of St. Cornelius the Centurion. Upon closer inspection, the chapel was so much more than met the eye. Inside I was delightfully confronted by a wave of black and white disks suspended from the ceiling. Named ‘The Eclipse’, the installation was designed by Jacob Hashimoto, a New York City artist. I learned that it was an adaptation of an installation that featured in the 57th International Art Exhibition in Venice. I was soon lucky enough to spot another one of Hashimoto’s pieces – this time in Liggett Arch, a former infantry housing space. Entitled ‘Never Comes Tomorrow’, the installation consists of decorated wooden cubes floating above the deep passageway of the arch, introduced by a colourful metal vortex.
The Joy of Finding Art in Unexpected Places
I Was Wandering, But I Wasn’t Lost
As I continued meandering through the streets of Governors Island, I realized how effective public art hidden in plain sight is. I was inspired to imagine how it can be used to celebrate and encourage creative collaboration between an areas’ historical, geographical and architectural treasures. Can you imagine the urban fabric of every city transformed into a treasure trove of art and culture? I certainly can.