Lignum Vitae

Key West, FL
Oct/Nov 2018

On October 27, 2018, eleven people were killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. I was at a residency with the Fifity-Fifty art collective at The Studios of Key West. Coincidentally, I had just learned about the endangered tree species, Lignum Vitae (Latin for Tree of Life), which is native to Key West.

The project Lignum Vitae is a series of ephemeral memorials made of sawdust, distributed around the island of Key West. The alfombra tradition of sawdust carpets made for religious processions was an inspiration for this project. The stencil design is based on a Shaker gift drawing by Hannah Cohoon also titled Lignum Vitae, created in the mid 1800’s.

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