An underground MTA station may be the last place you’d expect to see nature, but that’s exactly what artist Leah Oates has brought to the 42nd Street-6th Avenue subway stop in Manhattan. As part of the series Transitory Space, which studies the transformation of urban and natural locations over time, Oates installed Park Windows, a light box artwork with massive photographs of New York’s lush outer-borough parks. These beautiful “windows into nature” offer respite to passersby and a transitional space between the underground station and Bryant Park, which sits right above it.
Park Windows comprises a panoramic view of a brightly lit blue sky punctuated by clouds and glimpses of a tree canopy on a blustery spring day. Divided into separate frames, the installation was arranged and captured in such a way that suggests movement, change, and the “unspooling of time.” For instance, the film is manipulated to let the frame show through in certain shots and to layer images of the trees and clouds on top of one another.
The manipulation of film creates an almost otherworldly effect on the installation, which looks at once familiar and unnatural. “Oates feels that these transitory spaces are marked by the presence of human energy that is continually changing,” reads a press statement on the MTA website. Park Windows will be on view at the 42nd Street-6th Avenue station through mid-2017. Kodak alaris and Duggal sponsored the exhibit.
Images via Leah Oates