Detroit Sukkah Friends, Detroit, MI

Artist Statement

Our sukkah draws together the energy of the moon, water, healing native plants, Detroit women ancestors, and ritual to create a sukkah inspired by the land of Detroit.

The sukkah will be created from two concentric (yet open) circles made of cedar wood--offering both an open invitation and a safe intimacy for visiting guests. Curved benches that transition into beds will surround a circular table for meals and rituals at the heart of the sukkah.

A moon-shaped roof will be constructed from moveable cedar containers filled with white-flowering yarrow plants. Lulavs will be attached to cascading willows that drape down from the roof of the sukkah. These lulavs will be reimagined using native Detroit plants (cattail, sweetgrass, and willow), which embody parallel symbolic energies to the plants used in the traditional lulav.

Bowls of sacred water with solar-powered fountains will be used for water rituals throughout the week. At night, as we welcome in visitors for meals and blessings, we will also welcome ancestor visitors, calling in and celebrating Detroit ancestors such as Grace Lee Boggs, Charity Hicks, Erma Henderson, and other women who have helped cultivate well-being in our communities, grow the urban farming movement, and protect our water in Detroit.

By translating the deep symbology of the sukkah into this time and place (Detroit in 2018), we will create a nurturing, joyful space that celebrates the roles of the moon, water, healing plants, and Detroit women in creating abundance in our communities throughout the growing season.