The goal of the REN lobby artwork was to incite a feeling of connection – to one another, to nature, and to one’s self. The project began with the loose concept of the base and roots of a tree suspended from the ceiling. To expand this idea, we proposed a larger-scale, immersive installation composed of meandering roots congregating in a swirl and extending to engulf the entire lobby ceiling.
To achieve this visually, we took inspiration from spruce root cording, which is traditionally used as lashing for birch bark canoes or in craft applications, such as weaving baskets or hats. The roots are pulled from the ground, then peeled and split by hand into long, fine strands. The strands of Connection are abstractly captured mid-splitting and swirling together before extending out through the lobby.
Tree roots forage through soil towards the source of nutrients, soaking in sustenance for life to flourish above ground. Connection is composed to mirror this phenomenon, situating humans on the microscopic level, as a metaphorical source of energy amplified by interactions and relationships. The roots gravitate towards these connections, swirling and congregating above the lobby bar. In this case, the destination for this life-giving energy is unknown and unseen but grants a shift in perspective; a reminder that our individual significance is microscopic but as a collective, we serve a purpose and give life meaning for one another.