Hydra's Head

Nancy Holt
1974
Along the Niagara River, Artpark, Lewiston, New York, USA
Concrete, earth, water
Overall Dimensions: 28 x 62 ft. (8.5 x 18.9 m); Pool Diameters: two 4 ft. (1.2 m), three 3 ft. (.9 m) , one 2 ft. (.6 m); Pool Depth: 3 ft. (.9 m)

On a bank of the Niagara River, six pools of water, encircled by concrete, are arranged in the pattern of the constellation Hydra. Their mirror-like quality reflects the sky, the light, the colors of the world above while below, the river rages endlessly onwards. Hydra is the name of a mythical sea monster; the soul and substance of this work is water. Holt was entranced by the Seneca Nation proverb: “Pools of water are the eyes of the earth.” The pools of ​Hydra’s Head bear witness to the site’s magnificence—from the stars in the night sky to the ripple of a water beetle.

See Also

Sun Tunnels
Nancy Holt
1973-76
Great Basin Desert, Utah
Earthwork & Sculpture
Locator P.S.1
Nancy Holt
1971
The Institute for Art and Urban Resources
Earthwork & Sculpture