Trinity Root:  Root Sculpture Commemorates 9/11   Edward Frank
  Sep 11, 2005 19:40 PDT 
 159f_ttd_tree_lg.jpg (16867 bytes)

On Cnn Headline news was an interesting video relating to trees:

Root sculpture commemorates 9/11 (2:31)
The 'Trinity Root', an artist's memorial sculpture of the tree that shielded St. Paul's Chapel from harm on September 11, 2001, is unveiled. (September 11)

Artist Steve Tobin narrates a 2:31 video available online at

A sycamore tree shelter St. Paul's Chapel from the blast created by the falling towers. The tree itself was ripped out of the ground. The artist made a mold of the stump from the tree and with other tree segments made a large sculpture called Trinity Root to stand as a testament to life, humanity and the positive response to the catastrophe. It shows him making molds, and casting the sculpture in bronze. It is pretty interesting - As ENTS we are supposed to celebrate trees in art and this is an excellent example. The video clip is available online from the above address or directly at:

It is in Windows Media 9 format.

Ed Frank

Trinity Root sculpture   Edward Frank
  Sep 12, 2005 16:30 PDT 
From the Lower Manhatten info website:

September 9, 2005

For the past several months, artist Steve Tobin and his team of assistants
have been working on a bronze casting inspired by the remaining stump and
root of the 70-year-old sycamore tree that shielded St. Paul's Chapel
against falling debris during the collapse of the twin towers.

Recently, the finished three-ton sculpture, known as Trinity Root, was
hoisted by a crane into the courtyard of Trinity Church, the Episcopal
parish that operates St. Paul's. On Sunday, September 11, a procession took
place from St. Paul's to Trinity Church for the dedication of the
sculpture. Visitors were able to walk through the sprawling root branches,
which are 20 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 12.5 feet tall.

"It's an interactive sculpture that allows people from whatever spiritual
tradition they might have to interact with it," says Rev. Dr. James Cooper,
rector of Trinity Church/St. Paul's Chapel.

While the sculpture was not intended as a memorial, Cooper adds, "It
certainly is a memorial in the sense of that its roots are in the 9/11
experience. At the same time, it's looking to the future in hopes of peace
and reconciliation and eternal life for all."

In the days after 9/11, Tobin saw a report about the sycamore on CNN, and
it gave him the inspiration for the project. He is known for his root
sculptures, which are cast in bronze and finished with a wood-like patina.
The project also appealed to him because he enjoys working with natural
forms in sites that are connected to historic events. In 2007, his
nature-inspired sculptures will be the first-ever art installation at
Stonehenge Monument in England.

"Another thing that I am trying to do with my sculpture [Trinity Root] is
bring to light the unseen," Tobin says. "We look at, for example, trees,
but we don't think about the part that is not visually apparent. This
sculpture is about the power of the unseen and the strength beneath the
surface. It's really not about a tree. When you look at this piece and look
away, I would hope that people think about things that are not visually

The artist, Steve Tobin, inside his work   
Last July, Tobin, whose sculptures have been shown at the American Museum
of Natural History and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, convinced
Cooper to borrow the 600-pound stump and its remaining roots to begin
casting in his Pennsylvania studio. The artist also worked with tree
experts to help preserve the original stump, which was returned last spring
to the churchyard at St. Paul's, the oldest public building in continuous
use in Manhattan.
"The stump at the top [of the sculpture] is exactly as it was. It was
modeled after the tree that saved the church," says Tobin, who financed the
entire project, which is estimated to cost $330,000. "But about 95 percent
is my own fabrication and composition. And there are different elements
that are meant to suggest and evoke different things that I am interested
in. For example, the legs are very animated as if they are figures running
around. It's very much about life."