Palm: All Awake in the Darkness, is an installation by artist duo Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris (Sayler / Morris) in collaboration with Ian Boyden that was commissioned for the opening of the American Writers Museum. The installation includes live palms, a sound design, and centers around an original video work by Sayler / Morris, titled Threshold. Threshold can adapted to other site-specific installations. In March 2020, a stand-alone edit of Threshold was created for The Merwin Conservancy, intended for meditative on-line viewing at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Palm is inspired by the life and work of the American poet W.S. Merwin and meditates on Merwin’s capacity to invoke in his readers a sense of the wakefulness of the world. Merwin is not only a celebrated poet, having won nearly every major poetry award, including the appointment of poet laureate, he is also a visionary gardener and environmentalist. Over 30 years ago, Merwin embraced a piece of certified wasteland in Hawaii, and, along with his wife Paula, tree-by-tree grew one of the most abundant and species-rich palm gardens in the world—a garden that aspires to be a forest, as Merwin has put it.
The installation also includes a small sample both of those who influenced Merwin and those who were influenced by him – an ecology of ideas.
See full press release here.
Palm: All Awake in the Darkness (2017)
Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris (Sayler / Morris) with Ian Boyden
Matthew Patterson Curry
Julie Gawendo, Alexandra Batorsky, Harvey Bernstein, Steve Meyer, Mary Lock , Stephen Young, John Burnham Schwartz, Michael Wiegers, Hal Crimmel and Michael Wutz
Alexandra Batorsky, Stephen Fraser, Courtney Asztalos, Maizy Ludden, Cait Foley, and Lauren Harper
THE AMERICAN WRITERS MUSEUM, 2017
Grants and Support:
The Poetry Foundation, The Merwin Conservancy, The American Writers Museum