If you haven’t seen them already, next time you’re down by the hike and bike trail around Ladybird Lake, you’ll see a loooooong string of Tibetan-style prayer flags silk screened with an image of a leafless tree. There will be 14,000 flags in all, covering most of the loop between the South First Street and Pfluger pedestrian bridges. They are for a public art project called THIRST, presented by Women and Their Work. The piece is a collaboration between visual artist Beili Liu, architects Emily Little and Norma Yancey, and landscape architect Cassie Bergstrom. It’s meant to memorialize the 300 million trees that died in the 2011 Texas drought, and raise awareness of water conservation issues. (So, I guess each flag represents 214,000 trees? Math help, please.)
According to one of the flag installer dudes I came upon this morning, the piece’s installation will culminate on Sep. 29th with the lighting of the actual dead tree silhouetted on the flags, which will be erected on a barge in between the Lamar St. and Pfluger pedestrian bridges. (The barge is already there, and, having seen it for the past week or so, I’d been wondering WTF. Now I know.)
This is one of the coolest public art projects I can remember seeing in our fair city. It’ll be up through December 20.
Here’s a pic of the barge with the tree, which I think was installed yesterday: