Artist Projects

The Whispering Buoy

Joseph Grigely

The Whispering Buoy is a large outdoor sculpture made of a working buoy placed first at a harbor in Penzance, England, then in the Hudson River in New York City. Modeled on an 18th-century ceramic lamp on which a man whispers into a woman’s ear, Grigely’s project concerns navigation—both in conversation and in travel—and the desire to both share and protect information across borders and among confidants. The buoy is seen by boaters, pedestrians and drivers, and expands Grigely’s ongoing series on human speech.