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Exhibition of Memorial Concepts

Artist(s): Earle Swope, United States

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Proposal Title: The Tree of Lives, 05/26/2008, Sculpture

Proposal Synopsis: The Tree of Lives is a sculptural work referencing "The Tree" from creation. The tree represents man's first transgression and as an analogy of war the ultimate transgression of humankind. The tree would be composed of thin metal disks each about 128 of an inch thick with a hole in the center. The disks would be assembled on a rod skeleton and then sculpted into the tree. Each disk would represent a civilian who has died in the war. Thus each foot of the tree would represent 1536 deaths. The various components of the tree would be representational of the presumed deaths. The trunk would be those deaths that are absolutely confirmed, the limbs those that are likely but have not been proven and the individual branches would be those deaths that are presumed. The branches would sweep within feet of the ground and be covered with small hooks upon which people could hang and affix whatever they chose to leave, thereby "foliating" the tree with love and memories. The tree would be located in Iraq in the area believed to be Eden. The construction of the tree would be an immense project that would employ Iraqi laborers and craftspeople.

Artist's Biography: Earle D Swope is an artist in Boise, Idaho. Earle has worked in The Book Arts and is currently working in sculpture and conceptual art. Earle is a former Marine who thankfully never had to serve in war. This perspective further contributes to his sympathy towards civilian victims. There is no excuse for civilian deaths. Civilians die because military leaders are careless and are apathetic to civilian deaths.

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