Forest of Books

Anacortes Public Library, Anacortes, WA


A forest of books, a forest of words. This artwork is in two parts: a forest of books underneath the stairs, and newel posts at the top and bottom of the stairs.

The forest of books is a thicket of metal tendrils, sprouting letters and words as well as little stands, almost like hands, offering forth books.
This forest wraps around under the stairs, twining up to touch the sides of the staircase.
It contains several small benches to sit on while reading.
It also acts to prevent people from walking under the stairs and hitting their heads on the underside of the stairs. This function is required by the ADA.

Books become part of the artwork, and the artwork becomes part of the library, the two begin to interweave.
Nestled into the winding stems are soft and comfortable places to sit, cozy yet exotic, surrounded by the forest of words.
Growing in the forest, like fruit on trees, are real books- displays that can change according to season or event, random or themed.
Some of the forest is chaotic- just jumbled letters suggesting the idea of alphabets as the building blocks of words. In other places, recognizable words or phrases pop out.
The branches are metal, but bent and curled in soft and flowing forms, sprouting branches and letters, stems and words.

Flanking the stairs at the foot and mezzanine are two pairs of newel posts. Made of a linked weave of forged steel plates, embossed with alphabet letters, they are light and airy, yet tall and substantial. Atop each one is an open book.

Commissioned by the City of Anacortes

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