On April 24, 2015, the High Museum of Art unveiled the second large-scale, interactive design installation by contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena on The Woodruff Arts Center’s Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza. The site-specific work, titled “Los Trompos” (“The Spinning Tops”), continues a multiyear initiative to activate the outdoor space and engage visitors in a meaningful art experience upon entering the campus of The Woodruff Arts Center (of which the Museum is a partner). The installation builds on the success of 2014’s “Mi Casa, Your Casa” commission, for which Esrawe and Cadena dotted the piazza with three-dimensional open frames shaped like houses that invited visitor interaction. Originally planned as a two-year project, the Piazza activation program is extended through 2017 with funding from a recent grant to The Woodruff Arts Center from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation. “Los Trompos” creates a destination outside the Museum where patrons can enjoy recreation, social interaction, performances, art-making activities and special events co-organized with local partner institutions.
As a blank canvas for community engagement and programming, “Los Trompos” draws its inspiration from the form of a spinning top, a toy popular with children around the world. The project features more than 30 three-dimensional, larger-than-life tops in a variety of colors and shapes, which are installed throughout the piazza. The colorful surfaces of each “top” are created in part by fabric woven in a traditional style by Mexican Artisans. By working together, visitors may spin the tops on their bases as they interact with the structures. “Only through this interaction and collaboration will the work come to life and be complete,” said Cadena.
“The concept behind -Los Trompos- is based on an approach of traditional toys, their colorful expression and the way they are constructed. We wanted to talk about the traditions and skills of the craftsmen in Mexico, as an inheritance of our culture. We like the idea of translating these techniques into new symbols” said Esrawe.
Material Used :
Metalic structure 1”1/2 Diam. caliber 30 tube, powder coating painted and woven with ¾ flat tape.
Base construction details:
Base: Metal plate 3/16” reforced with supporting metal bracket 3/16” anchor spinning top structure.
Protection: Rubber belt
Spinning system: Metal structure 3/16”, ball bearing, wheels, foam (protection flooring)