“An image in time, an experience, a moment that flickers so brightly that it cannot last.”
“The Butterflies of Memory” is a temporary public sculpture on the site of the collapsed Smallpox Hospital Ruins on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan. Seventeen giant gold butterflies, each thirteen feet in diameter, will fly between 18 and 36 feet above the Ruins, visually carrying off the building. Installed in the summer of 2013, “Butterflies of Memory” will be viewable from Roosevelt Island, the Midtown Waterfront and the FDR highway, thus bringing an image of inspiration and beauty to over 2 million New Yorkers.
The butterflies themselves will be made of fiberglass and tubular steel, which will then be gold leafed. The structure that lifts them into the sky intended to look like lines drawn up in tension will be triangulated steel tubes that sleeve into one another, thickening as they move back to the building.
I believe that it is the third largest public art piece ever to be constructed in New York. In the tradition of the Gates and the Waterfalls the piece will be temporary. An image in time, an experience, a moment that flickers so brightly that it cannot last.