American artist and activist Maya Lin’s newest work, erected in New York City’s Madison Square Park, is a compelling and provocative piece called Ghost Forest. The public installation, comprised of 49 Atlantic cedar trees that have perished due to rising sea levels and saltwater inundation, was commissioned by the Madison Square Park Conservancy (MPSC) and will transform before the eyes of New Yorkers over the following months.
From now until November, the colors of the recently dead trees will languidly lose their hues and transform into ghost-like grays. The hope is that the stark contrast between the lush green of the park in its summer months and the ghastly tone of the trees will raise awareness of the consequences of climate change.
In addition to the visual aspects of this piece, a ghost forest timeline and a soundscape featuring sounds of native animal species that were once commonly found in Manhattan will add to the overall impact of Ghost Forest.
On top of the six-month-long installation, Maya Lin and MSPC have collaborated on a series of public programs that will explore nature-based solutions to climate change. The public is also invited to participate on a reflection board located in the north corner of the park’s oval lawn for just over a week starting June 1. The reflection board poses the question: “How has climate change altered your daily life?”
To offset the environmental impact of installing the trees in the first place, Maya Lin and MSPC have joined forces with Natural Areas Conservancy, which has agreed to plant 1000 trees and shrubs within the five boroughs of New York City.
Source Image: Maya Lin