"Oak wisdom"- Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

in collaboration with William Cochran

The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks commissioned a new entry artwork as part of eff orts to revitalize historic Druid Hill Park. Artist William Cochran designed an arcing 70-foot colonnade for the new park entrance near a 19th-century glass conservatory. Six pairs of salvaged iron columns with bronze frameworks hold luminous entablatures with paintings and imagery in fi ve layers of glass that display residents’ memories of the park. Thousands of fracture lines and an engraved diff usion layer capture and hold the light, illuminating the intense colours in the glass. The work is visible from all directions and its appearance changes - sometimes quiet, sometimes fiery - depending on orientation and time of day. An energy-efficient, low-maintenance LED system is concealed within each entablature, transforming the sculpture into a crescent of torches after dark. Durable, low maintenance materials, techniques and natural weather-induced patinization contribute to sustainability.

Research revealed that Druid Hill Park was named for giant oaks that once shaded it, since legend holds that Druids worshiped in sacred oak groves. The artwork‘s title Oak Wisdom is a literal translation of "Druid". The artist has said the work is "an abstraction of a young oak grove, a kind of reliquary for memories of the park and a standing prayer for re-seeing and rethinking our relationship to the natural world."

Artist: William Cochran
Client:
Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks

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