Bubble Gate

Artist’s Statement: Gates don’t usually attract people but rather act as a deterrent to progress, as very tangible obstructions and barriers, part of a system of commands and rules.  The implication of gates in our current culture is that of traffic control.

My interest in the gate is opposite this, I wanted to explore the gate appearing in a different context, more a surprise that beckons and attracts, more intangible, an apparition that enhances ones journey.

I am interested in the gate as a marker rather than the gate as an entrance or portal.  The actual mechanism, the mechanical devise for my gate was designed to disappear into the shadows of the garden with only a floating sphere to mark it’s existence, easily moved out of the path with a gently touch to allow one to continue.  A bubble in space.

Materials: Steel, foam, Carbon fiber tubing

Dimensions: 5 feet x 4 feet x 4 feet

Date: 2012



Whimsical Garden Gates spring up in Sandwich museum gardens

By Sheila Lennon

“Bubble” by Kenn Speiser.

Kenn Speiser of Providence is one of 16 artists whose work is featured in the Garden Gates Exhibition at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Mass.

The whimsical gates, including Kenn’s Bubble, pictured above, are scattered along paths in 100 acres of botanical gardens. The exhibit runs through Sept. 30, after which the gates are to be auctioned.

Bubble “swings across the path and can be locked in either open or shut position,” says Speiser. “The support structure that is set 3 feet into the ground is steel pipe, the horizontal tube that supports the ball is made of carbon fiber and the bubble itself is a 12-inch-diameter Styrofoam ball with 7 coats of epoxy paint.”

He considered paint to make it glow, but wasn’t pleased with the paint’s yellow-green daytime colors, and had doubts that it would hold up outdoors for four months.

Heritage Museum’s collections include automobiles, a 1908 Looff carousel and American folk art.  Sandwich is about 62 miles east of Providence via Rt. 195.