The concept was first contextualized in a third-year English course Hutten was taking and has been elaborated on for the public exhibit, which had been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the ENG 3V91 course led by Associate Professor Susan Spearey, Hutten identified recurring concepts of slowing down and contextualizing our relationship with the planet and the community.
“The historical testimony of tree rings resonated deeply with me, and I wanted to expand this idea to a collaborative community project here at Brock,” says Hutten. “By inviting my peers to participate and contribute, we are forming an intersectional testimony of 104 years of collective history.”
Our Oak is a one-millimetre-thick veneer from a white oak tree originally slated for lumber in New York state. Within the veneer, each year of the tree’s life is visible — creating a blank slate for 104 years of undocumented stories. Hutten photographed and digitalized the veneer and will project a large-scale version for the community to see as part of the exhibit. Those attending are encouraged to document their testimonies and apply them to the display, which will also be digitized in the future.
Hutten hopes these accounts will not only spark reflection and discussion, but opens the lines of communications for difficult conversations as a community.
“These events affect us all,” he says. “Seeing these events surge in moments of confluence or antithesis offers us space to communicate their importance to our community. These conversations offer moments of healing and transition. Let’s sit with this healing moment. Let’s nurture it into action and find ways to include and enrich rather than exclude and extract.”
Our Oak will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday and from noon to 3 p.m. Friday in RFP 214/215 located on the ground level of the Rankin Family Pavilion.
All Brock University protocols apply including mandatory full COVID-19 vaccination and masks for all visitors. Community visitors are asked to enter the building through the main entrance for check-in at the screening desk.
Questions can be directed to Karyn Lorence, Brock LINC Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
STORY FROM THE BROCK NEWS