Autumn Leaves at Albany Airport

I was walking through the Albany airport a couple of weeks ago, when I looked up and saw one of the most brilliant artistic concepts I’ve seen in a while.

The artist cut maple leaves out of gold foil and suspended them from a skylight by transparent threads. Since each leaf was only attached to the ceiling by a single thread at its center of balance, the leaves rotated in the slight breeze generated by the airport’s air currents.

The effect of autumn leaves slowly fluttering down from the sky was altogether convincing (and all the more striking for occurring in the middle of a sterile modern airport). But it’s the simplicity of the technique that I find the most striking. No virtuosic skills would be required to make something like this–any of us might easily replicate it with scissors, nylon thread and gold paper. The genius of the artist rests almost entirely in his having seen that easily acquirable materials might so easily be combined to create this evocative natural effect.

Here are a couple of pictures, courtesy of the Albany Airport website


So…does anyone have a suggestion of another exquisite application for these effects?

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2 Responses

  1. I am still drooling over these. I have now added “skylight with leaves” to my list of “things to have in my dream house”.

  2. A waterfall out of blue and white paper seems like another possible application, although it probably wouldn’t look as realistic.

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