COLLECTION | Carousel
“And the seasons they go ’round and ’round,
And the painted ponies go up and down.
We’re captive on the carousel of time.
We can’t return we can only look behind.
From where we came,
And go round and round and round In the circle game.”
― Joni Mitchell, The Circle Game
Carousel, a sculpture in painted and perforated stainless steel and aluminum, was recently installed in the center of the roundabout at the intersection of East Rosedale Street at Mitchell Boulevard. Created by the husband and wife artist team of Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii, it stands a little over 24 feet in height and 14 feet in diameter. This stationary carousel sculpture is activated by the experience of driving around it, which turns the ordinary event of traveling through the area into a distinctive experience.
When beginning a project, Hirschfield and Ishii search for a theme; something about a place that inspires and directs their design. They describe this as “finding an inherent truth that lends itself to becoming visual metaphor”. Their projects succeed through strong aesthetic designs that engage the viewer in a process of discovery and providing a multifaceted and meaningful experience.
The artwork is inspired in part by the artists’ fascination with carousels, which are a delight to children, and a source of nostalgia for adults. Its theatrical quality references the Jubilee Theatre, which was originally established in this community, as well as the theatre department at Texas Wesleyan University. Its six large, colorful parrots are a reference to the mascot of nearby Polytechnic High School and the importance of education at all levels. Finally, Carousel is meant to serve as a metaphor for the circle of life with all of its ups and downs.