HOME by Tracy Ginsberg and Theodore Lillie
ArtPrize 2010, Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, MI
Exploring the intersection of human and natural habitats, HOME gives viewers a chance to step into a redwood tree chimney nest with an old-growth redwood forest inside and videos of spotted owls that emerge at night on building walls. Constructed of re-purposed redwood bark, reclaimed redwood over 1000 years old and photographs mounted on ecoplast, the sculpture's interior communal space holds up to 15 people and is accessible via ship ladder. Centered within the redwood nest, HOME's internal, open-air room includes a panoramic photography mural of an ancient redwood forest, reclaimed redwood floors and circular bench.
The spotted owls come out at night! Whether perched inside the redwood or standing within the installation, viewers watch video projections of a spotted owl family in various forest sites. Filmed in their natural habitat by Ginsberg and Lillie over the past three years, two corresponding 50 minute video sequences cover building walls and immerse viewers in different native environments.
Because ancient redwoods and spotted owls claim special significance within human experience, they highlight the sacred beauty of the natural world, where dwindling resources and species continuity depend on human stewardship. Whether endangered owls in a disappearing Redwood forest, communities in the Gulf of Mexico or whales in the Antarctic Ocean, survival necessitates preserving home and all it represents--shelter, safety, nourishment, family.
HOME debuted at ArtPrize in Van Andel Institute plaza. The ideal host for HOME, VAI's dedication to science, education, research and healing mirror inspirational and medicinal elements found within nature.