"hide & go seek" by christopher murphy...

We are always pleased when we see a new art installation on John Nolen Drive. John snapped these and I thought I'd figure out who was behind it... This recent installation is by the same artist who created the submerged Lady Liberty that appears some years on Lake Mendota. We keep trying to see that one but have not yet been successful.

A Summer 2011 City of Madison Blink Temporary Public Art Program

Who doesn't remember the childhood excitement of playing hide and go seek? "Hide and Go Seek" a new Blink temporary public art project will bring memories of a childhood game to life for the drivers, joggers, pedestrians, and bicyclists who travel John Nolen Drive between May 7-June 15, 2011. Three figures will be positioned in a highly visible green space along John Nolen Drive.

By day, they will appear as playful figures engaged in a game of hide and seek, each one in one of the unforgettable poses of the game: one covering eyes and counting against a tree, one hiding nearby, and a third scampering to find the perfect hiding spot. The children's glowing figures will also surprise and spark recognition for the nighttime passersby as the life-sized figures will be lit from within with LED lights.

Artist Bio: Chris Murphy's sculptural obsession began with his work on Pail and Shovel's "Statue of Liberty II" in 1979, in which a submerged Lady Liberty appeared on Lake Mendota. Murphy says the success of this public art experience steered him into the three-dimensional arena because "the public response with this potent symbol impressed me so much that I wanted the direct communication with people that public art affords."

"The surprise of the unexpected and the joy of discovery are key to my recent body of work. More and more these days I find myself drawn to the interactive properties of figurative art in non-gallery situations. I love the way that the injection of art into a location can change the entire nature of the place. The presence of a figure triggers a subconscious primal response moments before the conscious mind can process and categorize. To me this primal visceral response is akin to the feeling I get from music and dance."

Murphy's oeuvre is based largely in the stuff of his day job: He breathes new life into the discarded electronic materials that he handles daily as an electrician and repurposes bits of colorful metal into engaging wiry animal and bug sculptures. His work embraces his love of disparate stuff with classic Wisconsin iconography. See http://myowndevices.org for examples of his work.

In 2008 Murphy worked with Milwaukee arts group IN:SITE and produced a relief sculpture called "Choros." This group effort involved more than 90 face casts of community volunteers, which he mounted against two solar-powered panels, lighting them up at night. Each face represented a person killed by gunfire in the City of Milwaukee during 2007.

in March 2010, Murphy completed and installed his first BLINK!-funded project called Girl on a Ledge, which featured a glowing girl reading a book atop the Madison Children's Museum. See http://www.projectgirlonaledge.tumblr.com.

More recently, Murphy played the role of mentor to Malcolm Shabazz City High School student Loey Blue, an aspiring artist, who was the youngest-ever recipient of the Madison Arts Commission's BLINK! award. Murphy helped steer Blue and the project to a successful and intriguing installation in James Madison Park, currently on display through the end of October.

Blink projects are funded through the City of Madison, Madison Arts Commission. For more information about the Madison Arts Commission's BLINK! program, please visit our website at http://www.cityofmadison.com/MAC/grants/Blink.cfm or contact Karin Wolf, the Arts Program Administrator kwolf@cityofmadison.com Next BLINK application deadline is June 1, 2011. - City of Madison News Release

©Photos by John Ganahl, using his iPhone

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