In April 2015, the High Museum of Art Atlanta unveiled the second large-scale, interactive design installation by contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena on The Woodruff Arts Center’s Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza. The site-specific work, titled Los Trompos (“The Spinning Tops”), continues a multi-year initiative to activate the outdoor space and engage visitors in a meaningful art experience.
The installation builds on the success of 2014’s Mi Casa, Your Casa commission, for which Esrawe and Cadena dotted the piazza with three-dimensional open frames shaped like houses that invited visitor interaction. Says the museum, “As a blank canvas for community engagement and programming, ‘Los Trompos’ draws its inspiration from the form of a spinning top, a toy popular with children around the world.”
The project features more than 30 three-dimensional, larger-than-life tops in a variety of colors and shapes, which are installed throughout the piazza. The colorful surfaces of each top are created in part by fabric woven in a traditional style by Mexican Artisans. By working together, visitors can spin the tops on their bases as they interact with the structures. “Only through this interaction and collaboration will the work come to life and be complete,” says designer Ignacio Cadena.
“The concept behind -Los Trompos- is based on an approach of traditional toys, their colorful expression and the way they are constructed. We wanted to talk about the traditions and skills of the craftsmen in Mexico, as an inheritance of our culture. We like the idea of translating these techniques into new symbols” adds Héctor Esrawe.