I recently had the distinct pleasure of being one of three Artist in Residence at Wildlands in Healdsburg, California. While there, I was very inspired by the serenity of this place and the Northern California oak forests surrounding us. As a ritualistic practice I hiked daily to collect oak galls. Oak galls or grow on certain valley oaks as a result of a parasitic wasp laying it’s larva in the oak twigs, the wasp secretes a hormone so similar to the oaks own, the oak will grow a gall as a way to both excrete the parasite and protect the larva. This relationship really spoke to me, the gall is both a result of an irritant but also gives the wasp an offering. This installation contemplates this complex relationship which symbolizes for me a way to learn how to embrace the difficulties of life.
At the Wildlands Open House visitors were invited to circumambulate the great Oak as a kind of walking meditation. A time lapse of this can be seen below.