here’s a really beautiful . . day trip, with an intimate sense of NYC social history, looking down upon the mighty Hudson River – from a cliff !!
historic architecture, and all.
especially now, with all the many trees – turning colors.

‘Light from Water’ . . . runs thru SUNDAY, NOV 26th.
WAVE HILL, 4900 Independence Avenue, BRONX, NY 10471


LIZ PHILLIPS, center, with a peak of her interactive ‘sound / water table’ installation – on the floor.
a painting by ESTEBAN CABEZA DE BACA, ‘Rock Alcove Water Garden’, 2023 – is on the back wall.
“For the past 50 years, pioneering, multimedia artist LIZ PHILLIPS has created responsiveenvironments that use new technologies to sense wind, plants, light, fish, audience, dance moves, water and food. In Phillips’ elastic time-space constructs, sound is often the primary descriptive material.’
~Wave Hill exhibition booklet

LIZ PHILLIPS, ‘Wave Hill Waves’, Wavetable, 2023.
Aluminum table, Clark transducer, computer amplifier, electronics and cables.
12 x 42 x 54 in.

note: ‘Wave Hill Waves’ Wavetable . . was originally presented as a site-specific installation for Sensory Overload at the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2008, and has been reimagined for Wave Hill in 2023.

the finite square of shallow water reflects & moves to the surroundings, and mostly random action, and sound of people walking by, thereby interacting with the audience. if you look closely in the photo – about 2/3 up, most easily apparent in the man’s reflection / you can see the start of a ‘zipper’ of wave within the water itself, which comes and goes, and grows larger, and then fades away – as if on its own. there’s obviously some kind of mechanism – within the (rigid) floor sculpture’s base. the mystery – is a big part of the whole.

~”On exhibit in ‘Light from Water’, is Phillips’ Wave Hill Waves, originally from 2008 and reimagined for Wave Hill in 2023. The artist often uses water as a material in her installations, and since 1988, she has created “Wavetables” that respond to ambient sound and/or motion. Various Chladni figures nodal patterns that emerge on the water’s surface as the resonant table receives low frequency sounds – are based on 18th-century German physicist and musician Ernst Chladni’s techniques for visualizing sound.”
~Wave Hill exhibition booklet

hand-made vessels . . . hide the wiring, and amplifier, which ‘move’ the water.

at first glance, from across the room, as I entered the room, all I could think of was buried, shipwrecked pirate treasure !! on closer inspection, how fun to find these worn & ancient looking, large, hand-made one-of-a-kind pots – contain technological . . . ‘gold’.

HEIDI HOWARD, hand-coiled clay vessel.
this clay ‘basket’ even shimmered, as if with gold specks flying off a sunken treasure of coins.

ESTEBAN CABEZA DE BACA & HEIDI HOWARD collaboration / bronze vessel, 2023.
which holds the amplifier.
this one seemed like some ancient marine serpentine, that had passed through on a ‘food’ procuring trip, and was struck dead for eternity, adding a whole other, ‘imaginative’ inter-active narrative / to the sound work.
a conscious, or unconscious (?) signifier, re the overall creative wisdom of the ancients ‘theme’ of the exhibit, reminding us that predatory, survival impulses – are primal.

in the same room, you will find a painting by ESTEBAN CABEZA de BACA ‘Sunflowers’, 2023.
acrylic on canvas / 60 x 32 in.
it seems both radiant, sunny. and warm-hearted, but like many works here, also: ancient, wise and mysterious.

as you step back out on the wide lawns, a provocative, ritualistic, even primitive sculpture awaits you.
ESTEBAN CABEZA DE BACA, in collaboration with HEIDI HOWARD, ‘Host’, 2022.
Bronze, with native plants / 72 x 144 in.
note: “this bronze sculpture was first exhibited at the Momentary in Bentonville, Arkansas. It features two figures – or perhaps two halves of one being – that are connected to each other, and to the earth. The sculpture incorporates native plants that represent a return to our origins and reflect on how the piece was created; its materials (including metal, soil, live plants) are derived from the ground. ‘Host’ proposes an alternative narrative for the future of life on this planet. In a precarious time, the artists advocate for supporting plant life and improving our relationship to the land for survival.”
~Wave Hill

from straight-on, the figures line-up, in a great ‘bonding’ – with what appears to me, to be the (larger) male figure / defining, protecting, holding the ground, and yet . . reaching forward / looking outward.


‘Light from Water’ was organized by GABRIEL DE GUZMAN, Director of Arts and Chief Curator, along with RAPHAELA GUGELBERGER, Curator of Visual Arts, Wave Hill.

LIZ PHILLIPS and HEIDI HOWARD, beside the smaller half of the earthy bronze sculpture, which I feel represents the quiet, but all-feeling, inward intuitive woman . .
in this ancient bonded cycle / the half that holds it all together from within .
Liz Phillips and Heidi Howard, are mother and daughter artists who now often collaborate, more as artistic community, than specifically as family.

note: the Wave Hill horticultural team, interacted so intuitively with the outdoor sculpture / with beautiful, yet quiet, (as opposed to super ‘showy’), definitely meaningful plantings, and placements of flowers, and vines and such, throughout the exhibit’s almost four month time span.

a life size, bronze 2 figure sculpture, they call: ‘Host’.
as in, welcome . . to our thoughts, welcome to the rituals of the ancients who came before us / the world is our host – we are the guests of this earth.
Please, try to do right / as you discover your path.

this ‘time-evoking’ sculpture – is a ‘creation’ myth / a yin yang bonding.
for sure this ‘half’, represents the ancient female . . intuit.
so deep with knowledge and feeling, as to have no boundary around her head, as she looks inward and outward, at the same time.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, Wave Hill, Sept 17, 2023.