Take 'Em By Storm
It's rare to find a mink coat hanging from a tree. Or a lawn strewn with dollar bills...
Annie Block -- Interior Design, 7/1/2010 6:12:00 PM
It's rare to find a mink coat hanging from a tree. Or a lawn strewn with dollar bills. But Kentucky residents saw those and myriad other objects scattered around Louisville on April 3, 1974, in the aftermath of the record-setting tornado Super Outbreak.
Another twister, Wheel of Fortune, has just touched down there. Fortunately, though, this one hasn't caused a bit of damage. The 25-foot-long installation, on view through October in the atrium of Interior Design Hall of Fame member Deborah Berke's 21c Museum Hotel, is the work of a Louisville native who was 6 years old when the tornado hit. "I remember it like it was yesterday. The devastation was unforgettable," Anne Peabody recalls.
Over the years, Peabody informally interviewed neighbors about sentimental possessions lost in the storm, then began carving each of them out of basswood-some, such as the mink coat, miniaturized. She combined them with found glass jars and silver-leafed the whole lot: 2,800 pieces grouped in 100 clusters and bolted to an armature of 15 steel rings ranging from 3 inches to 11 feet in diameter.
"The leafing establishes uniformity and equality among the objects," Peabody explains, "while the gray color represents a tornado." And a silver lining. Thanks in part to this installation, she was just invited to participate, for the second time, in "Glass Stress" at the Biennale di Venezia.