Aquilone is a series of kinetic public art sculptures created by artist Doug Hollis and installed the Shrewsbury Landsdown I-44 MetroLink station. The nine sculptures move and flutter in the wind.


Doug Hollis | 2006

Shrewsbury Landsdown I-44 MetroLink station
Steel and aluminum
Nine 20′ h. x 6′ 1″ w. x 5′ 3″ d. sculptures

It’s a windy day and the nine identical, kite-like sculptures that make up Aquilone are twirling, fluttering, and howling, activated by the wind.  The sculptures are composed of tetrahedral wind-vanes that frame smaller, perforated “tell-tales” – small wind sails that rotate independently, animating the entire surface.  The whole piece turns into the wind as the nine sculptures dance with each other.  At the leading edge of each structure is a “wind-organ pipe” that converts the wind’s energy into sound.  The pipes vary in length, producing a series of harmonic tones as the wind rises and falls.

Aquilone references the work of Alexander Graham Bell’s study of tetrahedral kites and Buckminster Fuller’s quest to understand the underlying structures of nature.  The artist, Doug Hollis, says, “This sculpture is part of my ongoing research into the motion of the wind and its ability to activate kinetic forms.  I want to create a field of activity; an ever-changing experience of the wind’s movements to be seen by people waiting on the platform, or those driving or walking by.”  Hollis’ goal is to “try and make places that have an oasis-like quality, where people can pause to catch their spiritual breath in the midst of their everyday lives.”

Commissioned by Arts in Transit for Metro Transit St. Louis.