CARRBORO, N.C. -- In celebration of Earth Day, the Town of Carrboro welcomed artist Kathrine Cays on Friday, April 21, and her temporary art installation at the elm tree in front of Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St.
A poem was read by Poet Laureate Liza Wolf-Francis.
The temporary art installation was originally planned to take place during Carrboro's Earth Day celebration, which has been rescheduled (due to inclement weather) to Sunday, April 30, from 3:30 to 6 p.m.
The artwork titled “Seated at the Table #1” honors the life and beauty of the Mother Tree. The placement acknowledges her prominent manner and not only that she provides water and nutrients such as life-giving carbon and sugars to her kin, but she indiscriminately protects her extended community through the mycorrhizal exchange (Mycorrhizal- Greek, mycos=fungus + rhizza=root).
The art piece is fashioned as a jabot (pronounced jah-bō), representing a component of official judicial regalia. The jabot metaphorically places the tree at the Court’s table of justices, inviting the viewer to imagine what she will say as a member based on her established laws, precedents, and life experience. As a fair-minded judge, what guidance might she offer us? What authority does she have? Can she and her kin benefit from privileges and immunities as a high court member?
Learn more about Kathrine Cays at http://www.ncati.org/katherine-cays
Read by Carrboro Poet Laureate Liza Wolff-Francis:
Sacred to our town, you rear above us
in years and height, solitary now,
a totem of the forest long before
you were a fragile sapling.
In darkness a darker mesh
of leaves and branches throws shadows
to the ground, by day, cool shade.
Who hears your song? You speak
in words only your tribe translates.
Once I leaned against you, listening.
If only it were given me to understand,
what secrets would I hear? Our Mother Elm,
from buried roots, through stolid trunk,
to heavy, arching boughs, to finest twigs,
each vein running through each leaf,
utters light breath, bright life.
Earth Day, 2023