Client: Indiana School for the Blind
Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States
Completion date: 2015
Indiana School for the Blind
Tree of Leaves was a collaborative project of artist Sofiya Inger, and Horticulture Department of Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The tree shape was constructed by artist, and multiple leaves were created in reverse mosaic technique by visually impaired students, and groups of participating students of Butler University. After collecting over 150 leaves, Sofiya was able to create a continuous surface covering the whole tree shape. Most of mosaic materials were collected from communities, and were recycled ceramics.
The tree is located on the grounds near the kindergarten, and elementary school building, and is intended for tactile exploration, but also contains familiar objects, and small sculptures. It was especially important for the students with low vision, and developmental disabilities. There is a small garden area, and a bench to relax by the sculpture.
In the beginning stages of design big help was offered from Horticulture Teacher Elizabeth Garvey, who was instrumental in securing funds, and suggesting an appropriate place for the project. Students from Butler University created many elaborate designs for their leaves, and students from ISBVI were very enthusiastic by working in reverse mosaic technique, which gave them confidence despite low vision.
This project took longer to complete because of weather conditions, and temperature changes, so many pieces needed to be tested for stability in the winter. It turned out well. Approximate height 12 feet.