Last week I received an email from a high school student in Bangladesh named Tinni Bhattacharyya. There, nearly 8,000 miles from 21st Street on Manhattan island, she has launched a campaign to make Sarah Sze’s sculpture “Landscape With Still Life” a permanent fixture on the High Line.
Tinni created a Facebook page for the campaign, where she writes:
Sze’s installation has become an integral part of the Highline’s ecosystem. Sze’s installation has evolved from an architectural frame to an organic living environment that is embedded in the ecosystem. While “Still Life with Landscape, Model for a Habitat” has been scheduled to be taken down on June 8th 2012, this campaign has been launched to preserve Sze’s piece in order to support the community of animals it has founded.
Tinni was born in New Delhi, but her father is a diplomat and so she grew up all over the world — in Belgium, China, Japan, and now Bangladesh. She first saw the High Line last summer when she was interning in New York. She told me that she had the opportunity to spend some time working in Sarah Sze’s studio, where she witnessed the process behind the creation of Sze’s pieces and came to understand the concepts the artist explores in her work. Tinni is motivated by the beauty of the artwork as well as its success as a habitat for many kinds of birds and insects. And her campaign is well underway; the Facebook page is fast accumulating comments, photos, and Likes.
I hope that Tinni succeeds. “Still Life With Landscape” is one of my favorite exhibits in the High Line’s public art program. Its Palladian lines and geometric shapes are strikingly, quietly, beautiful and even more, it brings the birds close to us, just inches away. In a big city with too many humans, this is a small blessing.