Sleeping Tree 

Shinji Turner-Yamamoto 
2008  |  Tree/organic materials 

Sleeping Tree was part of an undertaking called the Global Tree Project by artist Shinji Turner-Yamamoto. He seeks to connect viewers with nature in his site-specific works, and this two-year project with a 25-ft dogwood tree accomplished his goal by exploring the themes of life, rebirth and regeneration at several sites with a rescued tree. From its uprooting at a construction site, to its temporary home in a parking lot, to a five-week stay at Tephra, and eventually to its final resting place at Dogwood Elementary School, Sleeping Tree was a community effort. At each stage, it exemplified some form of human involvement with nature, be it the effect of construction on the tree’s habitat, the willingness to rescue it, the drive to turn it into art, and the understanding that it can teach lessons both inside and outside the classroom. It remains one of the most unique works exhibited at Tephra. 

Sponsors: Arts Council of Fairfax, Greater Reston Arts Center, Public Art Reston, Dogwood Elementary School 

Photo by Shinji Turner-Yamamoto