Deep at the bottom of the Potomac River, the shoes, boats, wooden toys, fossilized sea biscuits, pottery, and pilings submerged just off the shore of Alexandria are all pieces of the city’s history. The latest piece of public art at Waterfront Park dredges up those discarded pieces of Alexandria’s past and brings them into the sunlight – literally.
According to alextimes.com, “The wood pilings that makeup artist Mark Reigelman’s “Groundswell” installation symbolize the shoreline’s steady encroachment on the Potomac River. Starting in the 18th century, the city’s waterfront began to expand and change dramatically, driving hundreds of wood pilings further into the Potomac. “Groundswell” captures that process in the form of 100 wood pilings topped with cobalt blue mirrors that reflect light or even a face and depict the rings of an aging tree. The installation casts shadows like a sundial as the day goes by – the passing of time is instrumental in the installation’s impact.”
As per alextimes.com, “There are a few components of the installation, Reigelman said. The piece is as layered as the river itself. There is the floor mural which is the “subtle monochromatic graphic” that shows the submerged topography of the Potomac. The pilings sit on top of the mural and their heights are dictated by the mural. Mirrored inlays depicting the rings of a tree then sit on top of the pilings.”