When artist Anne Patterson hears music, she sees colors that accompany the sounds. It’s because of a neurological phenomenon called synesthesia, which melds one’s senses together. In 2000, Patterson translated the colors she “heard” into artwork while designing a set to accompany a Toru Takemitsu composition performed by the Brooklyn Philharmonic. When Patterson heard the work, she saw vertical lines in turquoise. Her art needed to fly in and out of the performance space quickly, so she tried out ribbons.
“It looked like someone took a big blue turquoise marker and drew lines,” Patterson says.
Now, visitors to the Waterfall Atrium inside The Palazzo can witness Patterson’s synesthesia-inspired work with her Las Vegas debut, “Another Sky.” Influenced by Beethoven’s “Pastoral” symphony, the new piece marks the second large-scale art installation inside the Strip property (following Laura Kimpton’s “LOVE”), part of the property’s commitment to bring art inside its walls.
A cascading waterfall of satin ribbon, “Another Sky” comprises more than 32 miles of ribbon—3,500 individual pieces—in 15 shades ranging from turquoise to plum to emerald. The strands hang from the Atrium’s 55-foot ceiling, quivering gently as people walk by, casting a whimsical effect in the grand space.
“I’m trying to create a thing of beauty and also a piece of meditation, so when people see [it], they are enveloped in something that inspires wonder,” Patterson says. The artist aims for visitors to “put their smartphones down and take a closer look” when viewing “Another Sky.” “One aspect of it is to bring joy into people’s lives and a moment of respite—an extra breath.”
Photos by Krystal Ramirez
Taking roughly 40 hours to execute on-site, “Another Sky” was created over the course of six weeks in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg. Patterson’s associate Kina Park turned the artist’s vision into an exact science using a CAD program to measure and mark where each piece of ribbon would be strung. Patterson brought in six artists, and together they attached every 47-foot-long piece of ribbon to more than 70 pieces of aircraft cable before shipping the work off to Las Vegas, where each would be affixed to a massive frame.
The installation hangs outside of Wolfgang Puck’s CUT restaurant and will be on display through the end of the year. Most who walk by can’t help but notice the art—many stop to run their fingers through the strands, while others take photos.
“I love watching people interact with it,” Patterson says. “It’s fun to see people reaching out to touch it and loving it.”