Alexis Smith: Snake Path - Stuart Collection at UC San Diego

2/25/2022; 2 minutes

Snake Path consists of a winding 560-foot-long, 10-foot-wide footpath in the form of a serpent, whose individual scales are hexagonal pieces of colored slate, and whose head is inlaid in the approach to UC San Diego's Geisel Library. The tail wraps around an existing concrete pathway as a snake would wrap itself around a tree limb. Along the way, the serpent's slightly crowned body circles around a small "garden of Eden" with several fruit trees including an apple, a fig and a pomegranate.
These pointed allusions to the biblical conflict between innocence and knowledge mark an apt symbolic path to the University's main repository of books. The concept of finding sanctuary within oneself - outside the idealistic and protected confines of the university - speaks directly to the student on the verge of entering the real world.

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