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Bēhance

I Am an Oak

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  • I AM AN OAK • COMMISSIONED PROPOSAL
    St. Louis, Missouri / Police Headquarters
    © Stuart Williams 2002. All rights reserved.
     
    Luminous lines of poetry scroll slowly up the lush foliage of two enormous 100 year old oak trees. The stately oaks frame the entrance of an historic architectural facade, which is the St. Louis County Police Headquarters. The commanding presence of the two oaks, as a kind of gateway to an historic landmark building, suggests timelessness and a sense of history. As if the great oaks are speaking... the light projected poem sweeps up the foliage of each tree, as the words and letters constantly dissolve and reform as they wash across the varying surfaces of the leaves. The visual effect suggests the memories of a century are materialzing for all to see.
     
    The artist will create a digital movie animating a 5 minute poem that he has writen for the installation. Two digital projectors, mounted across the street on building roof tops, project the slowly scrolling poem onto the foliage of the two oaks. A repeating loop plays continuously. This is a temporary installation.
     
    This was a finalist proposal for St. Louis Public Art.
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    Below is an excerpt from Williams’ poem, “I Am an Oak.” 
     
    I Am an Oak
    I have lived
    one hundred
    years
     
    I have seen
    sadness
    joy
    cruelty
    and
    kindness
     
    I have 
    borne witness
    to
    justice
    and
    injustice
     
    to
    love
    and to
    hate
     
    I Am an Oak
     
    I give to you
    beauty
     
    I give to you
    life
     
    I give to you
    truth
     
    I Am an Oak
    I have lived 
    one hundred
    years
     
    Written for St. Louis Finalist Proposal, “I Am an Oak,”
    © Stuart Williams 2002