For those wishing to stand meditatively in front of an aquarium (but not hankering to fight the crowds at SeaWorld or the Orlando Aquarium) there’s something like the real thing to be found on Central Boulevard.
“Global Convergence” is a sculpture by DeeDee Morrison, an Alabama-based sculptor who works largely in industrial materials. This aluminum globe is lined with transparent blue panels and the panels themselves are lined with printed fish—a school of Florida’s native shoal bass.
Each fish is remarkably realistic. They were created by a Japanese printmaking technique called Gyotaku, in which a real fish was covered in ink and pressed with rice paper. The artist added the eyes, but otherwise the fish are exactly as they appeared in life. The entire structure is illuminated from within by LED lights. The lights’ shifting patterns create optical illusion whereby the fish appear to circle their “aquarium.”
The project is meant to help onlookers reflect on sustainability and their role in the natural ecosystem. (The LED lights, rightly then, are solar-powered.) The shoal bass is a threatened freshwater fish species in Florida, where the waterways are experiencing changes large and small. Here, what could very well be lost is displayed as a reminder.
Global Convergence was the first sculpture of an eventual eight installed downtown as part of the SEE ART ORLANDO project. Private donors paid for the installation of 8 separate permanent public art pieces, the bulk of them scattered in this area around Lake Eola (one—Dowe Blumberg’s crowd of illuminated birds called “Take Flight”—floats above it). The collection makes for an excellent self-guided walking tour.
Know Before You Go
Global Convergence can be found in front of Orlando's History Museum on East Central Boulevard.