Trees shape our lives and environments in innumerable, often invisible ways. They create the oxygen we breathe, help build the infrastructure of our city, and perpetuate our ecosystem. Growth Rings, a new art installation for Central Wharf Park by Oscar Tuazon, draws attention to this symbiotic relationship — inviting us to take pause, find refuge in nature, and nurture an environment that sustains us.
Growth Rings is a site-specific artwork responding to the most prominent feature of Central Wharf Park, its 24 notable oak trees. The installation features three standing vertical circles (with diameters measuring 18’, 16’8”, and 15’5”’) suspended between the trunks of living trees, creating a series of portals that provide a defined corridor and sight-line through the park to the historic Boston Harbor. Fabricated by bending and gluing long pieces of wood, the techniques used to build this work hearken back to traditional boat-building, creating a dialogue between the park, the trees, and the long legacy of Boston’s nearby waterfront. Made with wood that is the same thickness as the tree trunks, the rings are meant to be touched by the public, encouraging an active, tactile experience of its majestic inhabitants, the oaks. Sunken into the ground, the rings suggest natural cycles of life and create a tangible and visible connection from deep underground roots to the treetops above.