This lively piece enjoys a captive audience of people waiting for the light to change at Fountain and Dorrance Streets. Maybe today pedestrians will make a point of stopping by. Artist Mark Wholey describes how his sculpture came into being: “‘Follow Your Heart’ began as a greeting card before developed into a 7 foot tall sculpture made in wood, foam and aluminum is displayed in Providence through the Avenue Concept Public Arts program.”
Follow Your Heart is a visualization of belief in oneself. To stride towards a goal that is dictated by love, not logic or caution. Its stride is the jumping off point towards a goal. The figure is an idealist who can be universally identified with; a dreamer, explorer and adventurer – similar to the Tarot card of The Fool, which shows a figure ignoring obstacles to pursue the journey. Overall the image the sculpture creates is one of positivity and encouragement.
A slightly different version has been exhibited at the Providence Art Club. “Inspired by the Tarot’s Fool, the adventurer, he steps into the unknown looking forward not down.”
I find this work genuinely charming without being overly sentimental, although Wholey seems quite comfortable wearing his heart on his sleeve, declaring on every page of his website “Art is love made visible.”