Life Cycle was commissioned for Knowle West Health Park in Bristol as part of a broader programme to increase local involvement in neighbourhood renewal. The intervention involved re-rooting 2 oak trees and planting them 25 metres apart. The first was a live tree 9 metres tall; the second, a dead tree (12 metres) was inverted. The trees were located on top of mounds in the park and could be directly viewed from the Renal Dialysis Unit, where patients would sit for hours receiving their treatment.
It was an empowering and uplifting location, from which you could see for miles. The trees acted as strong metaphors for patients and visitors: the trees had been uprooted and re-rooted; in effect given a second chance or new lease of life.
Over time the living tree continued to grow and became a centerpiece; by contrast the inverted tree decayed and degenerated. Underpinning Life Cycle are the universal themes of the tension/delicate balance between man’s use and interaction with nature, birth, death and regeneration. Elpida’s use of unmediated, natural materials - a species that we take for granted – attempted to draw attention to the trees’ fragility and vulnerability.
Public art commission for Knowle West Health Park in Bristol, developed in 2004.
- T.J. Thickett & Associates
- Civic Trees
- Children’s Fund
- Bristol NHS
- Images: Benedict Phillips