Tracy Hamilton’s “Land as Art” class traveled to New York City in February to explore how art is expressed in an urban landscape.
On a morning walk along Battery Park in Manhattan, students visited the National September 11 Museum & Memorial before heading south to the Museum of Jewish Heritage, where they viewed Andy Goldsworthy’s “Garden of Stones” (2003).
The garden is made up of 18 glacial boulders with dwarf chestnut oaks sprouting from the fire-seared holes in the center of each stone. The number of rocks represents life in
the Hebrew tradition.
“The monument’s process of creation and its subsequent growth speak of both fragility and permanence and memorialize those who perished in the Holocaust and those who survived it,” said Hamilton, an associate professor of art history.
The next stop, located on the northern end of Battery Park, was the Irish Hunger Memorial, which is also composed of stone, soil and plant. The monument is meant to commemorate the famine that brought about the death of about 1 million Irish in the mid-19th century and then an exodus of millions more who traveled to the United States. Designed by artist Brian Tolle, landscape architect Gail Wittwer-Laird and 1100 Architect, it is organized around a path that slopes upward toward the Hudson River through a landscape made of rocks and plants brought from the 32 counties of Ireland.