Finding a new piece of public art always brightens my day, and Austin adds more and more artworks to its public spaces all the time. This tiled arch gateway to newly renovated Eiler’s Park, next to Deep Eddy Pool, went up in 2020. Created by Ryah Christensen and Sun McColgin and titled Abundance, the tile mosaic “plays with the ideas of ‘eyeball moss,’ or ‘spirit lichen’,” according to Christensen’s webpage, “to create a sense that the sculpture is inhabited with the spirit of all those who have loved and played in this spot over time – and to celebrate the park’s vibrant, fun history.”
I had no idea what eyeball moss or spirit lichen might be, so I googled it and think it’s a reference to mossy, eyeball creatures in the cult classic film Labyrinth.
For sure the piece seems to be watching you.
Three irregularly shaped blocks covered in colorful tiled eyeballs are placed nearby. Again, the eyes are watching.
From the playground you get a glimpse of Deep Eddy Pool, where I spent many a summer day with my kids when they were little. It’s been ages since I’ve returned, and I felt nostalgic as I leaned on the fence, remembering days gone by. Like Barton Springs Pool, Deep Eddy’s chilly water (66 to 75 °F) is spring-fed and unchlorinated, and the majority of the large pool is wading depth, making it kid-friendly. It sits on the edge of Lady Bird Lake, and you can watch through the riverbank trees as paddleboarders and kayakers glide by.
Another, even larger tiled artwork adorns a wall inside Deep Eddy’s gates, and I hope to go back and see it sometime.
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