Mind-blowing art installation debuts at City Hall Park

“Monuments” blends human faces with the environment.

A projected video of a human face appears on a tree in Seattle's City Hall Park at night with the Smith Tower looming in the background

It’s totally fine to stare — “Monuments” has a hypnotic quality.

Photo via Seattle Parks & Recreation

If you’re looking for larger-than-life public art, stroll on down to City Hall Park. Local officials just unveiled video projections for a new installation called “Monuments” by Australian creator Craig Walsh.

The faces displayed are from recorded interviews with three individuals of First Nation tribes. You can watch the projections appear against the backdrop of the park every night from 8:30-10 p.m until Sunday, Oct. 1.

How did these moving portraits land here? Glad you asked.

Sights to behold

For the past several years, Walsh has been creating multimedia displays across the US in cities like Houston, TX and Chapel Hill, NC. Each work is meant to reflect the history and cultural background of the chosen public site, specifically highlighting communities that have been historically marginalized.

Here in Seattle, the three featured individuals were chosen by the Windz of Change Alliance, a local organization that seeks to strengthen Indigenous presence in our parks and public spaces.

Walsh filmed interviews with each person and developed the colorful projections which look like they’re moving with the environment — almost like the park itself is coming to life. Whoaaa.

Park emphasizing rec

“Monuments” is part of the larger effort to re-invigorate City Hall Park, which reopened to the public in June after being shut down for two years.

The City of Seattle committed $300,000 in 2023-2024 for public programs in the park, whichhave so far included drop-in crafts workshops, outdoor movies, and now “Monuments.” There’s also a free jazz concert on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 12-7 p.m.

Seattleites can still give feedback on how you’d like to see the park utilized in the future as upgrades are being planned for 2024 and beyond. More cool, artsy projects? Yes, please.

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