In 1989, Billy Tripp began work on his life’s project: the Mindfield. Using salvaged metal, Tripp constructed the largest outdoor sculpture in Tennessee, in Brownsville, 60 miles northeast of Memphis. The sculpture is about an acre large and, at the tallest point, 125 feet high.
Tripp has written that the Mindfield represents his emotions, personal growth, as well as his significant life events. In 2002, after the death of his father, Tripp added one of the largest additions to the sculpture, a water tower from a closed factory in Kentucky.
Currently Tripp continues to work on the sculpture, building pieces in his shop behind the structure, and then adding them. In an interview, he has said he mainly works during the summer. Tripp has also written a book, The Mindfield Years: Volume 1, and is currently working on a second volume. Like the sculpture, the book is autobiographical and runs 725 pages long.
For the most part, the community, including the mayor, have been very supportive of Tripp’s work. Important support considering the Mindfield is situated on the main road in Brownsville. Upon his death, he intends to be interred within the sculpture, a fitting end to a life’s artistic work.
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