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Phillip Lopate describes the shape of Manhattan Island as‘a luxury liner, permanently docked, going nowhere’. This feeling of being tethered to the land, unable to get to sea, was a feature of New York life for much of the twentieth century. New York was an island without a coast. The West Side piers that once welcomed the Lusitania spent most of the twentieth century crumbling or behind barbed wire, while the East Side’s coves and points were cut off from pedestrians by six lanes of the Robert Moses-designed Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. It wasn’t much easier to reach the shores of Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx, either: with a few exceptions, they were largely reserved for municipal or industrial use, and easiest to see from the Staten Island Ferry (en route to the borough with the most beaches). Now, slowly, the city is reclaiming its shoreline, with some spectacular results.

Carcasses by Jill Allyn Peterson

OBJECT: Stripped Cars

BODY OF WATER: East River

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Artist Statement

 Carcasses is about the various cars that have come to their final resting place in the waters surrounding New York City. The movement of the car-shaped plexiglas pieces strung together as a mobile is how I like to imagine these cars slowly sinking down to the bottom.


Jill Allyn Peterson is an artist and designer living in Brooklyn, NY. She received a masters degree in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute after attending Hampshire College and studying Fashion Design at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, UK. Between earning degrees, she worked for performing arts and sustainable food non-profit organizations, and at Metropolis Magazine. Jill is currently working on a variety of entrepreneurial design initiatives that you can read about at jillallyn.com.