[Brownsville, TN] — The artist calls it The Mindfield, but it’s really more of a mind f*#¢.

Sandwiched on a narrow plot of land between a barbershop and an appliance rental store, The Mindfield is a massive outdoor metal sculpture, said to be the largest in Tennessee. Brownsville artist Billy Tripp began the artwork in 1989, using steel girders and other salvaged metal; among the installation’s parts are a salvaged water tower and a fire tower.

The sculpture’s soaring steel girders represent events and details of the artist’s life. It’s a constantly evolving work, and Tripp plans to be buried at the site when he dies.

It’s easy to miss The Mindfield, located in the small West Tennessee town of Brownsville about 65 miles northeast of Memphis. At first glance, you might mistake it for a power station with its tangle of grey steel girders and flocks of birds circling overhead. But I’d been alerted to its existence by Sonia Outlaw-Clark, director of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville.

“It’s just right off our courthouse square, and lots of people come here to see it,” she told me. “Most people consider it folk art. It’s very interesting, and [Billy Tripp] is a very interesting character.”

I didn’t get to meet Tripp, but I admire his spirit and dedication to his work — although not all the locals apparently do. “Some of them hate it,” Sonia told me.

I guess art’s not art unless it’s ruffled a few feathers.

PHOTO GALLERY:

MORE ABOUT THE MINDFIELD:

From Roadside America: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/7403

Billy Tripp’s website: https://sites.google.com/site/billytripp/

West Tennessee Cultural Odyssey website: http://www.westtnculture.com/mindfieldInfo.html

Tennessee tourism: http://tnvacation.com

West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center: http://westtnheritage.com

 

About Glen Abbott
Glen Abbott is a Florida-based travel writer & photographer specializing in motorcycle touring and travel. He is regular contributor to Harley-Davidson's HOG Magazine, and his travel features appear regularly in motorcycle magazines and other publications.

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4 Comments
  1. Orsi

    January 14, 2013

    Wow! That’s what I’d call urban art! Or is it some kind of weird architecture? Whatever, I definitely like it!
    Orsi recently posted..Fogpótlás klinikák Óbudán

  2. Fanni

    January 2, 2013

    Amazing shots from these alien-like steel structures! That looks really awesome, just like some fractal generated pipe network or something like that. Really interesting!
    Fanni recently posted..Fogpótlás implantátumokkal már Budapesten is

  3. Jolan

    December 18, 2012

    Wow! It looks amazing! Just like some kind of unfinished truss structures!
    Jolan recently posted..A fogbeültetés és az esztétikai fogászat

  4. jocelynverna

    December 11, 2012

    Massive sculptor! ordinary eyes does not see the beauty in it.

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