Marc Robarge

Tree of Positive Actions

wood, glass, parchment, fishing line, clothespins, dye, tung oil

10′ x 6′ x 6′




Artist Statement

Tree of Positive Actions is a call and response sculpture in which audience participation is crucial to the expressive power of the piece. The trunk of the tree has a core of glass and wood, with parchment inside the glass, that addresses facets of systemic racism, such as the judicial system, health care, living wages, housing, education, voting rights, violence and trauma.

The audience is called to respond by reflecting, then writing a specific positive action they will take to address these multi-layered concerns. Heart/leaf shaped parchment is available in the gallery for you to write these notes of action. For virtual visitors, you can submit an action electronically in the comment section of my gallery page for the show. All the notes of positive actions will be added to clothespins suspended from concentric circles to create the canopy of the tree. The paper is translucent, illuminated in the ambient light and will softly move in the air, a metaphor of living breath. By writing a positive action and adding it to the tree, the audience participates in a new social contract, a commitment to address systemic racism.

 The sculpture’s text paraphrases Rev William Barber II as seen on “Where do we go from here?”OWN Spotlight special:

“Let Justice and Equal Protection Under the Law Breathe. Let Living Wages & Economic Fair Play Breathe. Let Affordable and Accessible Health Care Breathe. Let Fair Housing and Community Resources Breathe. Let Equitable Educational Opportunities Breathe. Let Healing from Violence and Trauma Breathe. Let Freedom Ring and Voting Rights Breathe. This is Our Democracy Trying to Breathe”


Add your comment to this installation. 

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