Location: Tampa Riverwalk, Tampa FL
Description: Woven Waves features ‘folded’ ceramic steel panels which create a lenticular effect that changes with the viewer’s movement. Integrated under the Laurel Street Bridge, the work creates an experience of discovery and surprise for viewers as they move by on foot, bicycle, and river, via kayaks and canoes.
Taking inspiration from history of the site and the Laurel Street Bridge, formerly the Fortune Street Bridge named for the freedwoman Fortune Taylor, the bridge is a literal and figurative connector--it connects Tampa geographically, but also connects communities socially. The history of the Fortune Street Bridge is intertwined with multicultural connections across racial and economic divides.
We see the bridge as “stitching” together the various multicultural communities of Tampa, bringing to mind the metaphor of a quilt. Using traditional West African, Cuban, and Scottish cultural patterns in a composition evoking a “crazy quilt” is inspired by the current of the Hillsborough River. This combination is the agency of diverse people who shaped the history of the Laurel Street Bridge. Freedwoman and property-owner Fortune Taylor who became namesake to the street and bridge. Scottish businessman Hugh Macfarlane who built a storied cigar factory. Cuban factory workers whose labor struggles created demands for safe infrastructure.
Commissioning Agency: City of Tampa