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From green space to gallery: Williamsburg artist will install sculptures at beloved Bay Ridge meadow

Handcrafted: Williamsburg-based artist Eirini Linardaki painted this watercolor depicting one of the five ship-inspired sculptures she made using recycled materials cast in concrete that will soon be installed in Bay Ridge's Owl’s Head Park.
Brooklyn Paper
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A walk in this park is about to get even better.

A Williamsburg-based artist created five sculptures that Department of Parks and Recreation officials will soon install at a favorite, coastal Bay Ridge park. The artworks, which recall seafaring vessels, are a tribute to those immigrants who journeyed to New York’s shore on the same waters that the pieces will stand over, according to their creator.

“The whole idea is that they are representing the need of people to escape, because we all need to escape,” said Eirini Linardaki. “It’s a need that’s essential to human life, to the human condition. And to me, it was symbolically connected to the immigration stories in the area.”

The artist will erect the sculptures in Owl’s Head Park late this year or early next, and they will remain in the green space for six months, according to a parks department rep.

Linardaki, who also lives and works on the Greek island of Crete, made the works with recycled objects — including plastic bottles, bags, drawers, chairs, and suitcases — that she said she found on the city’s streets and then cast in concrete.

The artist learned about the Bay Ridge green space after she organized a collaborative mural project between a group of kids enrolled at nearby Fort Hamilton High School and students from the Greek isle’s School of European Education of Heraklion, she said, which required the local teens to travel to Crete in 2016.

Linardaki made the sculptures at a friend’s Park Slope studio and is so-far self-funding the $5,000 project, the sculptor said, though she hopes to receive grants from local arts organizations to cover some its costs.

But Linardaki said creating the pieces is worth the effort even if she has to pay everything out of pocket.

“I think making art is a necessity,” she said.

Each of the five sculptures will weigh several-hundred pounds and will be anchored to the ground with spiral stakes, according to the chairwoman of Community Board 10’s Parks Committee, who said the massive works will draw art afficionados to Owl’s Head Park from Brooklyn and beyond.

“These projects are going to be great, and will attract people from all over the city,” said June Johnson.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 5:10 pm, November 17, 2017
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