Words tree image
The Process of Weaving a Tree Before beginning to think about what kind of art piece would be best for the front entryway of the Brandeis Hillel Day School, I set out to learn about the space. I sat in it and I walked around the school. The students were given a short assignment to tell me, with words or pictures, what made BHDS special to them. Through conversations with parents and students and teachers, I learned about all of the different activities offered at the school and of how the school encourages the students to think for themselves. The sum of my research revealed the school to be a community strengthened by all the people (students, teachers, staff, and parents) who are invited to bring the best of themselves into it. After months of researching, drawing, and redrawing compositions, my inspiration developed from 3 sources: symbols of the Jewish tradition, the shapes of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and concepts generated from students. In the back of my mind one image kept forming: a tree alive and growing. The ‘tree trunk’ is made of woven of copper wire, 8 feet wide by 17 feet long (floor to ceiling). Twenty-Two ‘leaves,’ smaller woven panels suspended from the ceiling encircle the trunk. Nineteen of the 'leaves' are made of nylon sewing thread dyed in shades of blues and greens and 3 are woven of all copper wire like the trunk. Each of the 22 leaf panels has an image that corresponds to a word beginning with one of the 22 main letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The word for door in Hebrew, delet, begins with the Hebrew letter dalet. That panel shows a door opening with light shining through it. My imagery often begins as a realistic representation of a subject then I abstract it. This keeps the work fresh and unrestrained, yet still recognizable, to draw people into the details of the piece. An entryway can be an invisible place, traveled through without any notice or thought. By transforming it with vibrant fabric, it will to catch the eye and spark the mind into a visual game of layered images. This tree I have woven, out of thread and wire, now stands in the front entryway of the Brandeis Hillel Day School. Representing a community of people, young and old, who will come through the space to learn, teach, experience friendship, and to grow in both mind and spirit as children grow up in the body. This tree is an open symbol, not about one thing, but left for each viewer to decide what it means to them.
Up Arrow Down Arrow