The Waveny Park Conservancy has activated the field behind Waveny House with a dramatic sculpture installation by Paul Kopkau. The artist had a similar exhibit in 2019 in Socrates Sculpture Park against the dramatic drop of the New York skyline. This time his two Lawn Shadow: iPhone sculptures frame the historic 1912 house from one angle and the fields and woods beyond from another. These giant black steel iPhone silhouettes are based on yard decorations often found on the lawns of middle American suburban homes, representing horses, dogs, pigs, and cows – animals that highlight and celebrate country living. These embellishments are, however, at odds with the digital- and media- driven lives within the homes. Since digital photography is one of the main ubiquitous forms through which the majority of Americans view our world, the silhouettes, which frame our bucolic surroundings, act as reminders of how our experiences are constantly being mediated through these devices. They challenge us to think about our relationship to technology, which is ever-present in our lives even within the context of nature. Commissioned by board member and curator Arianne Kolb, they were previously exhibited at King School in Stamford where they reflected the school’s Digital Wellness Initiative, which encouraged students to think about how these sculptures change the way one sees the world, and what we gain or lose by seeing everything through a digital frame. How do we behave around the sculptures and why? Visitors to Waveny Park can interact with these sculptures, allowing them to view the landscape and architecture from a new perspective and through the lens of these structures.
Kopkau (b.1982), who lives in Brooklyn, majored in photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York. His work has been included in exhibitions at The Swiss Institute, 321 Gallery, Company Gallery, and The Perez Art Museum Miami. In 2019, he was awarded The SocratesSculpture Park Fellowship in Queens, New York.