Reflective poles mirror the changing tides

The movement of the water and the sound of waves has always had a calming effect on people. That’s why American artist Phillip K. Smith decided to create a project where the ocean waves are reflected, instead of being “swallowed” by their force.

Phillip’s art explores perceptions in all fields including light, colour and space. Which is why he came to the conclusion that the beach was the best place to explore all of that. For his project, Phillip installed nearly 250 mirrored posts on a coast in Laguna Beach, California. The outdoor work is a quarter mile long and has been commissioned by the Laguna Art Museum.

“Stretching along much of Main Beach, the arc forms a visible marker between the man-made and natural worlds,” Phillip said. “[It] reflects the changing colours of the ocean, sky, and shoreline throughout the day and night.”

Called the 1/4 Mile Arc, the 10-foot poles were positioned to mark the curve of the beach, just beyond the high tide line. This ensured that the work would reflect the waves it faced, rather than being swallowed by their force.

Viewers could experience 1/4 Mile Arc both from multiple vantage points, including along the cliffs or close up on the beach. There had been concerns that these poles might be dangerous to birds, but it was only displayed a few days back in November.

You can watch Smith’s installation against the changing tides in a video by photographer Lance Gerber below.