City Cast

Meet the Artist Duo Behind “Pockets of Light”

Brittany Valentine
Brittany Valentine
Posted on August 2
butterfly and flowers art piece made of plastic

“Pockets Of Light” uses trash to highlight the beauty of nature. (Photo courtesy of Eric the Puzzler.)

Eric the Puzzler and Julia Woodard recently unveiled “Pockets of Light,” a series of sculptures stretching along the Delaware River waterfront from Pier 68 to Race Street Pier. The sculptures represent the area’s natural elements, and are made from trash and plastic. Visitors can explore the art further through interactive puzzles and a scavenger hunt.

How did you come up with the puzzles for the “Pockets Of Light” scavenger hunt?

Eric: “My goal is always to help people explore the built or natural environment. As I find pieces that might work well together, I slowly compile an appropriate puzzle structure for them. I try to imbue each puzzle with some sense of meaning. It takes a lot of tweaking to achieve something that feels serendipitous to participants, but it’s so worth it to give people something that only makes sense when they start observing the world around them.”

What’s the intention behind using trash as art to highlight nature?

Julie: “We saw this as an opportunity to take on the issue of plastic pollution and its impact on the natural world. Visually, this is a subversive message, as I’ve worked hard to make trash look beautiful, to mimic nature. The art of transforming post-consumer materials into something beautiful that brings people joy and also extends the life of materials feels meaningful.”

watery blue and green art piece on the Delaware River waterfront

Eric created engaging puzzles so viewers can interact with the art pieces. (Photo courtesy of Eric the Puzzler.)

How long did it take to complete the installation?

Eric: “I probably spent about 120 hours on bringing this to life. This was a partnership from Day One, so I also planned the overall structure, designed activities, stickers and placards, assisted with installation, and helped promote the project.”

Julie: “The initial dreaming started in January, but I’ve dedicated the last three months to creating this body of work. I spent a few hundred hours at my sewing machine and sitting with a needle and thread, hand-stitching components. The installation process took two days and went pretty smoothly. Now I'm having fun hustling to get the word out and am grateful that there’s been such a warm reception!”

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