Whirlygig encounter at an early age

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Post by Rob Matthews

Vollis Simpson [creator of the Giant Whirligig at the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. See previous post.] lives in my parents’ town, Wilson, NC. The field of Whirlygigs is there. It was initially set up because someone, I think a relative of Simpson’s, had died at a sharp turn on a country road in an accident. He started building the Whirlygigs there to get people’s attention at night because there are reflectors all over the thing. I don’t know if that’s true or not but that’s the story in Wilson. Anyway, it’s a massive thing. My aunt drove me out to it when I was about 15 years old. She drove me out there at night with no warning about what I was going to see. Scared the crap out of me when we finally got there and the headlights hit it. Next time I’m in Wilson, which should be in August, I’ll try and snap some photos for you.
Here and here are some links I found with more on Simpson. (image is detail of the Baltimore Whirlygig. Note Simpson’s name, left, on the piece.)

–Rob Matthews is a Philadelphia artist and regular contributor to artblog. His show “The Assumption” at Gallery Joe closes tomorrow.
matthews, rob

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