Site: Four Stations along the Hampline Track, Binghampton (Memphis), TN
Artists: Jeanine Centuori & Russell Rock
Client: unbuilt proposal
Our concept for the Discover Binghampton Art Exploration Stations begins with the cyclical nature of the Hampline track and the bicycle wheel. Each station presents a sculptural metaphor employing rings or circular objects with associations and layered meanings about the specific narrative. These complex and rich stories about Binghampton are presented with text and images that are multivalent. Each of the stations presents several short narratives that provide glimpses of each story through multiple vantage points or references. The tall sculptural elements will be prominent from a distance, and then reveal greater depth and detail upon close inspection. Viewers may linger to read the shorter texts and ponder the associations of the metaphoric objects.
Station #1: The Beginning – William H. Bingham
Here in BinghamPton
This station, Here In BinghamPton, presents an abstracted map of Binghampton on the ground with signifiers calling attention to structures, landscapes, and events. Each of the circular vignettes presents an image along with explanatory text on the ground. The Binghamton News, The Binghamton Hotel, Lawler, the railroad industry, lumbering, and William H. Bingham are among some of the features to be highlighted. These elements are presenting histories like a detective using a magnifying glass.
Station #2: From Boxcars to Bicycles – The Role of Transportation
The role of transportation is portrayed with a tall Transportation Totum, presenting a range of wheels. The history begins with the large wooden stage-coach wheel, to the boxcar train wheel, to the electric streetcar wheel, to the car wheel, and finally to the bicycle wheel. These elements will be fabricated from metal and powder-coated with bright colors. Metallic sillouette plates are set into the concrete ground slab with adjacent text describing each of these transportation eras in Binghampton.
Station #3: Leading the Way for Civil Rights – Binghampton Civic League
This station’s sculpture, Civil Bloom, is a blossom of sorts created from an agglomeration of trash can lids, an homage to the significant sanitation workers’ strike. Commonplace, ubiquitous trash cans are elevated to an object of beauty, just as the and agitation of the civil rights movement blossomed into a triumph for humanity. The letters C-I-V-I-L appear on some of the lids. Metal circles on the ground are inscribed with information about each of the Civic Leagues that played an important role in the movement.
Station #4: Grandmothers – Binghampton’s Heroines
The strong, steady feminine presence of the grandmother figure is portrayed with a charm bracelet, Grandma’s Charms. Each of the charms represents an aspect of home, heart, and community– shotgun house, wood-burning stove, a pie, a needle and thread, hands, a book, and a cooking pot. Metallic plates with textual inscriptions are embedded in the ground surface. Inscriptions are quotes from contemporary African American grandmothers in Binghampton. This strategy connects the past with the present and creates a living project that binds the community.