The Tree Inside Me

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Client: Public Art for Public Schools: PS14x

Location: New York, NY, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $50,000

Project Team

Artist

Sandy Litchfield

Industry Resource

Franz Mayer of Munich

Architect

Kliment Halsband Architects

Public Art Agent

New York City School Construction Authority

Overview

“The Tree Inside Me” is a mosaic mural installed in the lobby of an elementary school in the Bronx. Made with a mix of hand cut glass smalti, purred venetian glass, ceramic tile and painted aluminum composite, this piece measures 28 feet tall. The images of snowflakes, leaves, trees, birds, buildings, butterflies and flowers celebrate growth and regeneration in the urban landscape.

Goals

Commissioned for the new school entrance, this project incorporates the colors of the seasons as it represents an urban garden oasis– a sheltering haven for children to learn and grow. The large open wall is integrated into the design along with the existing blue and white tiles, signifying winter. As the image moves up the wall the colors of spring, summer and fall reinforce the architectural design motif of the new addition for PS14X.

Process

For the fabrication of this piece, Litchfield consulted and collaborated with Franz Mayer of Munich. The lower portion of the mural (which includes a touchable textures of tile and mosaic) was fabricated by the Mayer Studios. The upper portion (which consists of hand cut and painted aluminum composite panels) was fabricated by the artist. The distinctive materials are integrated together in a collage-like fashion.

Additional Information

The title of the work is taken from a poem written by Rainer Maria Rilke: …Silently the birds Fly through us. O, I who long to grow, I look outside myself, and the tree inside me grows.