Location: Hiking Trails
Over a three-week period beginning September 2005, Steven Siegel created this monumental sculpture, Stories of Katrina, on the front lawn by the Bunya Pine tree, and a smaller paper piece, Nest, layered inside a circle of Bay laurel trees on a trail behind the Villa. The artist created the works in full public view with the help of several assistants (Carl Schmitz, Matt Isble, John Hylton, and Julia Bradshaw) and many community volunteers. The San Jose Mercury News donated 23 cubic yards (50,000 papers or 22,000 pounds) of newspaper "overruns." The majority of the newspapers featured primarily coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Like hidden fossils in the strata of the earth, this historic event remains concealed in the layers and stacks of newspapers. Over time, the newsprint has darkened and softened, and come to resemble natural materials such as slate or stone. "The paper slowly changes appearance and starts to host various molds, fungi, insects, and flora," says Siegel. Ideally, the artist intends his works to age and gradually decompose as the elements act upon them over time, providing compost for new life, and mimicking the cycles of nature.
Nest is still visible in the copse of trees along the hiking trails. Stories of Katrina was de-installed from the Great Lawn in 2006.