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Metro Public Art Collection: Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks

Artist: Alice Aycock
Location: Riverfront at Cumberland Park, 592 South 1st Street

Ghost_Ballet (public art) by Alice Aycock

Installed in 2007, Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks is located on the east bank of the Cumberland River, opposite downtown Nashville. The 100’ x 100’ x 60’ sculpture was Nashville’s first Percent for Public Art commission. The artwork references the site’s industrial past and visually echoes current surroundings, including nearby bridges and the NFL Titans stadium. Its dynamic form conveys a sense of the area’s evolution from an industrial working river to recreation and entertainment.

The main structure of the sculpture is comprised of arced, red-painted steel trusses that twist upward from the crane base to form a disconnected spherical shape. On the ground, a red-painted aluminum “turbine whirlwind” serves as a visual generator for the swirling trusses above. At night, a glowing neon fixture illuminates the sculpture’s center.

Aycock sees the piece as a work of static animation. “It changes as you move around it,” she says. “It suggests a certain kind of movement, dance movements, which is why I refer to it as a Ghost Ballet.”

Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks Video

Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks Education Guide

Alice Aycock discusses Ghost Ballet: interview from Museum Without Walls

Ghost Ballet Wins National Award

Alice Aycock's Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks was selected by the Americans for the Arts 2010 Public Art Network's Year in Review 50-Year Retrospective as one of the best 50 public art projects over the past 50 years.