Art lovers will be greeted by a soaring new installation on the piazza when the High Museum of Art reopens in July.
“Murmuration,” created by the internationally renowned architecture and design firm SO – IL and partners Jing Liu and Florian Idenburg, will be placed in the Woodruff Arts Center’s Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza as part of an ongoing initiative to activate the High’s outdoor space.
On view from July 17 through Nov. 29, “Murmuration” speaks directly to the architecture of the piazza and more broadly to the city of Atlanta and its relationships with the natural world as viewed through the lens of bird migrations. Featuring a foliage-filled mesh canopy suspended over the piazza by a steel framework, the installation will envelop guests, evoking tree canopies throughout the city and region.
SO – IL was inspired by Atlanta’s reputation as the “city in a forest” and by the High’s proximity to the city’s largest greenspace, Piedmont Park, to guide the design of this installation.
Along with its many trees, the metro area is home to hundreds of bird species. The canopy’s perches will aim to draw birds to the site. Beneath the canopy, guests can use the space as a shaded respite and participate in their own “nesting and perching” by using benches and “pods” suspended from the upper structure. “
The project was originally slated to open in April but was delayed due to COVID-19. To ensure the safety of guests gathering outside under the canopy, the High will provide a hand-sanitizing station.
This project builds on the success of the five previous piazza commissions: Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki’s “Sonic Playground” (2018), Spanish designer Jaime Hayon’s “Merry Go Zoo” (2017) and “Tiovivo” (2016) and 2014–2015’s “Mi Casa, Your Casa” and “Los Trompos” (“The Spinning Tops”) by Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena.