If you have been walking, running or riding your bike on the Burke Gilman trail near 40th Ave. and 55th Pl. recently, you’ve probably noticed the addition of bronze tree forms along the trail — this is Anna MacDonald’s two-site installation of Reclamation, which includes Already and Not Yet at one location, and Remain at another.
Remain is constructed from living, dying and regenerating materials, with a decaying tree form as the centerpiece and baby Red Alder trees sprouting around it, representing the transformative process of forest renewal. Already and Not Yet, a five minute walk west from Remain, are bronze sculptures cast from the mold of the decaying tree in Remain. Already and Not Yet are shaped like a set of parenthesis and capture this special piece of the Burke Gilman Trail to create a mini-story, or an aside (similar to how parenthesis are used in a sentence). Each piece has its title incorporated on the sculpture.
On the surface of each bronze tree, there are symbols of pathways cast into the trunk. The artist explains:
“These ’tracks’ are designed to convey standard toy trains, such as Thomas the Train, and matchbox cars, encouraging play and other physical interaction with the sculpture.” The highlight of tracks also serves as a historical landmark, to remind the viewers that the trail’s origin was once as a railway line. MacDonald also writes, “As a whole, this work celebrates the act of regeneration, specifically, Seattle Department of Transportations’s commitment to establishing and supporting Seattle’s greenways and the continuous labors of those who love and voluntarily maintain the park in the Ravenna district, namely, Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail.”
MacDonald was selected in October 2011 to complete this project. She has worked at the University of Washington’s Center for Digital and Experimental Arts and Seattle Pacific University’s Art Department, and has shown her work in Berlin, Baltimore, and Seattle.
A formal dedication will be planned for late spring.
Funded by the Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art funds.
Photos by Jason Huff