A recent trip to Tennessee brought one of the most fascinating pieces of public art that I’ve ever seen. The Mindfield, located in Brownsville, is the life work of Billy Tripp and is worth a detour from Memphis if you are in the area.
Billy began the steel artwork in 1989 and has plans to continue it until his death (he will be buried on site). What was most striking was the message of tolerance seen throughout the piece, like the East Coast non-religious version of Salvation Mountain.
There is a mailbox on site where visitors from all over the world have left gifts or letters for Billy after admiring his opus. While The Mindfield is an expression of Billy and his life, you can’t help but have your own experience while viewing it. As I stood beneath the work, watching various pieces move with the wind, I felt calm and at peace.
The sheer size of The Mindfield makes it a bit overwhelming at first. My eyes kept darting around, trying to absorb everything all at once. But slowing down and appreciating it in sections is the best way to explore it.
In an interview on his website, Billy cites his reason for beginning The Mindfield:
Well, we have to do something while we’re here. I like to work with my hands and to custom make things and the Mindfield allows me to do both of these in a way that is also never quite finished.
Journey to The Mindfield for an experience you won’t soon forget!
Heather Bailey – @LiveEachSeason