Mount Diablo State
Park, Sunol Regional Wilderness, and closer to home, Tassajara Creek
Regional Park, all attest to the splendor of the trees themselves
and the unique habitat they form.
The oak serves as a
metaphor for the health and well being of the natural environment
at large. Our native oaks, their habitat, and the wildlife they support
are disappearing, long threatened by development both here and throughout
California. Their fate is in our hands, entirely dependent upon the
land use decisions we make.
Within the context
of a multi-use park like Ted Fairfield Park, we believe it is possible
to enhance awareness of our surroundings by referencing the natural
environment. As our appreciation of local natural history can contribute
to a broadened sense of community, we felt it appropriate that our
proposal for Ted Fairfield Park be thematically based upon the oak.
Our goal in doing so is to create a sense of place by providing the
citizens of Dublin with a concrete reminder of our natural heritage.
We have freely interpreted
the oak in several aspects of our sculpture. The overall shape is
reminiscent of the undulating shape of the valley oak leaf. It is
intended to call out to us, to remind us of our natural heritage.
The sculpture is stepped. By this, we wish to suggest that it is a
composite form – built up from parts – very much like
oak leaves falling on the ground together. The additive quality of
the sculpture also suggests the ecological concepts of community and
interdependence. The sides of the sculpture are covered with an impressed
design derived from the forms of tree roots. This motif reminds us
of how life emerges from the earth beneath our feet. The top surfaces
of the sculpture are arrayed with abstract shapes that derive from
the leaves of such regional native oaks as blue, valley, and live
oak. Their curved sides combine with the stepped form of the sculpture
to create a topography that reflects the topography of the surrounding
landscape. And throughout the sculpture, color is used to reflect
nature both at the level of the oak tree and the surrounding hills.
The sculpture we propose
is designed to be interactive. We expect that children will be drawn
to it by its inviting structure and coloration and will want to climb
upon it. We envision them scrambling up and down and across the sculpture.
And of course, by climbing on it, children will gain an immediate,
hands-on intimacy with the underlying concepts.