A Hodges Bay sculpture inspires guests to reach for the stars

Guests arriving at Hodges Bay Resort & Spa on the north shore of Antigua will discover a spaceman that has found its home in the Caribbean.

The Boonji Spaceman weighs 3,000 pounds, stands 22 feet high at the end of the pier at Hodges Bay and is allegedly the tallest sculpture of its kind in the Caribbean.

Artist and creator Brendan Murphy said that the piece “is a tribute to human ingenuity and resilience and is focused around my fascination with imagination.”

“As we look to emerge from the greatest challenge of our generation with Covid-19, I hope this work will inspire people to get back to living, and most of all, to remember that anything is possible,” Murphy said.

The work was commissioned  by collector and resort co-owner Christopher Harding and is the product of more than a year-long collaboration between Murphy and Harding. Its scale speaks to the duo’s vision to create a meaningful piece to lift the human spirit.

It took three days, 12 men, one crane and custom scaffolding to erect the spaceman sculpture, which was mounted into five feet of solid concrete. Reinforced with a steel skeleton core, the carbon-fiber exterior is designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and other natural elements.

To add further impact, a chrome finish was applied to reflect light in spectacular hues from sunrise to sunset.

In addition to the dancing spaceman, Hodges Bay is home to a curated art collection featuring several of Murphy’s works, including Candy Hearts, a 30-piece, three-story hanging sculpture suspended across the property’s Great House main atrium and a shark sculpture entitled The Fast Eat Slow.

Art from emerging and established local artists comprise other parts of the resort’s collection.

Harding opened Hodges Bay in late 2018 with his partner and tech entrepreneur Jeff Wellemeyer.

“We set out to create a landmark property in the Caribbean,” Harding said. “With the dancing Spaceman, we wanted to create a larger-than-life installation to inspire the next generation of global travelers and guests to reach for the stars, to dream big and to always dance while doing it.”

The Boonji Spaceman is on display to resort guests, the public by boat or from afar via Instagram at @giantspaceman.

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