My Tree Weavings are an off-shoot of my illustrated maps in that the lines that I was following on paper maps in 2010 have turned into planes. I weave sissal, wool or wire between multiple branches. The planes of material change as you pass through the sculpture. At times the planes look dense and solid and at other times the planes appear ephemeral and wispy. The planes are the result of the organic lines of irregularly torquing branches mixed with the geometric lines of a repeated thin line of joinery.
What is new about the weavings is that the relationships between torquing planes create new spaces. We are constantly moving through space. Much of it constructed. Our eyes are constantly adapting and pulling focus as we move and we understand the world in a relational way. In an urban setting we make sense of an unending series of geometric and man-made installations, (like the following photoshop example)
The weavings have very little structure and yet breathe the idea of structure. One space is deliniated from another. I’m trying to illustrate what is already there. I’m trying to illustrate the process of seeing and how we situate ourselves within this world – physically. We are, as humans, incredibly versatile and the urban landscape is normal, if not natural, for us. But these organic interpretations of space and planes have deep correspondence with our inner structures – nerves and neurons.
Nature has a way of making me fall to my knees in reverence. It’s simply beyond words – the shapes that are created – the endless possibilities of form. These weavings are my way of making love to nature because I can’t imagine making anything more substantial than nature, herself, can provide.
I have recently contemplated weaving saplings with metal wire in order to watch the wood grow around the metal (over many years). It would be a living sculpture. The trees could possibly die early as well. However, I find it to be a fitting metaphor for humanity’s desperate need to control nature and the unknown outcomes of our selfish (human-centric) behaviours. Wood is often used by humans. It seems fitting and poignant to select young, baby trees that are controlled to the point of possible destruction. Wood has a strong association with the aesthetics of beauty and warmth. Yet, people do not want to actually see their deforestation. [Much like they don't want to see the source of their energy (be it wind farms or coal pits or nuclear)]. I would like to corrupt the structure of a tree. Then have it fall down and be “ugly.” Humans just don’t want to look in the mirror. But they should.
The artist below, David Nash, has sculpted saplings. But Ash Dome is very much alive and has more to do with training vs. disfiguring.