Unbroken Arbor Vitae is a collaborative installation designed for the contemporary art exhibition space at the Suho Memorial Paper Museum. It presents a sculptural Pacific Northwest forest, poetry, photography, video, artist's book and community engagement.
The project was conceived and created by Anne Greenwood, Diane Jacobs, Rachel Siegel and Shu-Ju Wang (me) 4 Portland, Oregon based artists to inspire reverence and increase awareness of the intimate relationship between civilization and forests.
Each component of the installation was designed towards a specific goal. The sculptures of life-sized paper trees offer visitors the physical experience of walking in a forest; they will observe a new generation of plant-life, of ferns and fungi, supported by majestic trees; they will encounter a poem by American poet Alison Hawthorne Deming on the rich web of life. Twelve large photographic scrolls present a visual feast of native Pacific Northwest trees.
A 5-minute video loop focuses on life-cycles, using the burning of a paper tree as a symbol for renewal & regeneration. It is a gesture, a gift to our ancestors and future generations. A clamshell artist s book contains pages of actual Pacific Northwest native species wood blocks and allows visitors to touch and admire the grain of different trees, as well as serving as a reminder that it is possible to use our forests intelligently to ensure continuity. The community engagement workshops offer adults and students the opportunity to meditate on their personal forest experiences, to respond visually and linguistically to their relationship with nature and ultimately to consider their individual actions that impact our natural world.
Please contact me if you have suggestions for new installation venues for this project.