Circle of Trees – Time Piece, 2000


A public art piece installed in Woodbine Park, Toronto.  It consists of seven mature maple trees planted in a circle.  One of the trees has been cast into bronze.  It is frozen in time while the others, chosen for their longevity, live their lives. Circle diameter is 60’, all trees are 35’.  A bronze plaque illustrating what the artwork looked like at its installation is mounted on a boulder in front of the circle, as a reference point in the future.  The piece will be documented every few years.


Since then....


As I write this, the Circle of Trees is now 14 years old.  What has transpired is not what I had envisioned.  The living trees have not thrived, so my projection drawings will not reflect the future as I saw it.   Great pains were taken to choose the right trees, to plant them in a way that gave them the greatest chance of thriving, a watering system and new soil.  One of the intentions of the piece was to let life unfold and to let time and the environment shape the piece as time passed.  I expected that the growth of the trees juxtaposed against the bronze tree, would be a measurement of time.  Nature would take its course, but not as expected. The environment and circumstances made it a difficult first few years for the living trees. The bronze tree remains strong.  


The remediation that was done to the soil seems to have done a lot of good for the living trees.  They seem to be reviving.  This means that this piece may still achieve it's original intent. So happy about this.