FLOW.16: Tracie Hervy

The Project: Three Boroughs

Tracie Hervy’s Three Boroughs is installed on a hill along the southeast waterfront of Randall’s Island Park. In the piece, three wooden frames echo Randall’s Island’s major geographical axes – thruways connecting the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. The frames reflect not only the physical reality of the geometries of Randall’s Island, but also the role it plays in knitting together the fabric of the city. The frames help define how visitors see the world across the river, but their genesis is Randall’s Island. When viewers look through the frames at skyline on the other side, they are looking through Randall’s Island.

The Artist: Tracie Hervy

Like many people, drawing was Hervy’s introduction to art. When she was first learning to draw the question was, “What does it look like?” As she got older, she was more interested in “How does it work?” To understand the “How does it work,” she found she needed to find a way of simplifying what she was seeing, so her drawings became diagrams. She uses diagrams in her studies of music, film, as means to understanding the city. It can be a simple line specifying time. It can mark the placement of the edits in a film. It can describe the relationship between spaces. She uses diagrams as a kind of note taking, but has discovered that they can do more than describe what already exists. They can become the starting point of something new – a series of drawings or paintings. At its most ambitious, it approaches architecture. Tracie is a graduate of Oberlin College (BA) and the Rhode Island School of Design (MFA).

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