Guardians: Spirits of Protection, Expands to the Arboretum

Community invited to share thoughts of hope and healing

Explore the Guardians exhibit

See the exhibit that ties into this art installation, “Guardians:  Spirits of Protection,” by Professor Emeritus Ann Savageau at the campus design museum. It feature sculptures made from found objects in an exploration of “building new life from loss,” according to Savageau.

Visit the exhibit at the Design Museum by April 24.

As you stroll through the Arboretum this month or next, you’ll get the chance to experience and participate in an art installation, made up of a colorful ribbon installation (Dakhil), a reflection bridge and a poetry path.

An extension of the “Guardians:  Spirits of Protection” (created by Ann Savageau, professor emeritus of design and currently showing at the campus design museum) and in support of design MFA students Niloufar Abdolmaleki and Edward Whelan’s theses, this outdoor art installation centering on grief, loss, hope, and resilience, will be on display in the Arboretum's East Asian Collection through April 30.


One of the main components of the installation is a Dakhil installation of approximately one hundred ribbons of various colors tied to branches of a tree on the north bank of Lake Spafford. Dakhil, an Islamic traditional act of devotion, involves tying fabric to anything one considers sacred, usually done to heal the sick or to pray for good things. UC Davis community members are invited to write their wishes and hopes on the ribbons and in the process expand their knowledge of cultural approaches to healing and hope.

Yellow fabric tied to a bridge in the Arboretum
Community members are invited to write good wishes or thoughts on the yellow fabric swatches lining the "Refection Bridge."
Reflection Bridge

In addition to contributing to the Dakhil, community members can also write good wishes or thoughts on pieces of yellow fabric attached to the bridge near Wyatt Deck.

Poetry Path

A poetry path, the third component to this installation, displays poetry written by community members on laser cut tiles laid in a pattern on the lawn north of Lake Spafford. The same poems can also be found in sign holders throughout the area. Additional poetry submissions are being accepted through April 18 via the exhibition's website.

Share in community art and explore this installation in the Arboretum.

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