The Memorial Garden is a contemplative space dedicated to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and a tribute to those who survived. For Garden of Stones, Goldsworthy worked with nature's most elemental materials — stone, trees, and soil — to create a garden that is the artist's metaphor for the tenacity and fragility of life. Eighteen boulders form a series of narrow pathways in the Memorial Garden's 4,150-square-foot space. A single dwarf oak sapling emerges from the top of each boulder, growing straight from the stone. As the trees mature in the coming years, each will grow to become a part of the stone, its trunk widening and fusing to the base.
Garden of Stones reflects the inherent tension between the ephemeral and the timeless, between young and old, and between the unyielding and the pliable. More importantly, it demonstrates how elements of nature can survive in seemingly impossible places. In Jewish tradition, stones are often placed on graves as a sign of remembrance. Here, Goldsworthy brings stone and trees together as a representation of life cycles intertwined. As a living memorial, the garden is a tribute to the hardship, struggle, tenacity, and survival experienced by those who endured the Holocaust.
The garden was commissioned by the Museum and organized by the Public Art Fund.