New York is such a vibrant cultural city, that it’s hard to single out anything that truly stands out. But two mysterious, almost supernatural-looking objects immediately called out to me. I recently came across and immediately wanted to find out more about the Expansion sculpture by Paige Bradley and the collection of strange rock formations that once graced the bank of the Hudson:
When I first saw the sculpture known as Expansion by Paige Bradley, its power, beauty and message immediately captivated me. It’s a figure of a woman meditating with her body cracking to reveal an inner light––a light of her true self breaking through the containment of her body and social confines. To quote the artist “… I ponder if we are more defined by the container we are in, rather than what we are inside. Would we recognize ourselves if we could expand beyond our bodies? Would we still be able to exist if we were authentically un-contained?” Of course, art is open to personal interpretation and my interpretation of this piece is that it represents the spirit or consciousness within all of us escaping our bodies after death.
Along the Hudson River Greenway in Fort Washington Park in New York, there used to be an odd display of stones perched one on top of each other, without glue or cement. They display an odd, almost supernatural, delicate balance and stoic silence. Like statues, they stand witness to the rivers of water, traffic, and people that ebb and flow through New York City. Mysteriously, cyclists, runners and passers-by saw the stones change shape from one day to the next.The stone ‘people’ first appeared in July 2017. They were created and maintained by one man: Uliks Gryka. Gryka spent hours almost every day here, carefully fitting stones together to stand without cement or any other support. Creating these stone figures was for him, a spiritual experience: “This is where I can free my imagination, I can free my spirit, I can free my breath.” Unfortunately, after a year, Gryka stopped the work on its one-year anniversary. Perhaps the constant rebuilding that was required as the stones, even the heaviest ones, were inevitably knocked down, became too much of a burden. I have immortalized them in my new book, Earthbound, as the location of a horrific murder scene.