Swept was a temporary installation in reaction to learning about the Chinese holiday of Qingming, during which people honor their ancestors by sweeping their graves. These brooms are made of plants that have died or been cut. They symbolize the promise to care for the graves of our families for another year, and refer to the leaves swept away from gravesites. They also call to mind cycles of death and birth.
Swept appeared at the Portland Classical Chinese Garden in April 2003, then I created another larger version at Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston for the summer.