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Starting June 3, a giant Firebird will unfurl its massive tail across the sky over New Holland Island, as part of the latest project from the world-renowned artist Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics. Occupying over 10,000 square meters of space in total, this installation will mark the city’s first public art work at this scale.
The gigantic plumage of Firebird Descent rises from a central point in the island’s reservoir. The “tail” has been woven together from extra-strength monofilament fibers, festooned with hundreds of thousands of vibrantly-colored patches of parachute fabric. The installation is secured by cables tethered to seven pillars, each nineteen meters high. It took more than six months to produce the piece. During this time, engineers meticulously calculated the wind and weight limits, taking into account all the precise details of New Holland’s location and the potential weather conditions.
According to Patrick’s concept, this figure should recall the magical firebird from Eastern Slavic folklore, as captured through the sumptuous illustrations of Ivan Bilibin. Firebird Descent lives in harmony with the wind, which directly influences his behavior: a light breeze may ruffle the “feathers,” while a mighty gust will send smooth ripples pulsing through the entire body.