New direction or new branch from the same trunk?

The experience, earlier this year, of wrapping large paintings around live trees was so personally and artistically exciting that I applied to the Center on Contemporary Art’s annual Heaven and Earth outdoor exhibit. I was very surprised, since I have almost no cred as an installation artist, to be accepted. Here is my proposal sketch:

Proposal sketch, Tree Futures

Sketch for “Tree Futures” proposal

I plan to wrap trees with a variety of materials that suggest what trees could become:

  • wood chips, for trees used in landscaping
  • invasive species, one of the many threats to biodiversity
  • wood veneer, to stand for all the lumber used in construction, furniture etc.
  • kraft paper, corrugated cardboard, for the wood used in paper products of all kinds
  • fire-scarring, for those trees lost to humans and other species through fire. (I’m having a 6′ x 30″ banner made from a section of Burned at the Base for this)
  • artificial grass, for all the forest lost to agriculture and development
  • layers of workgloves, to commend all the volunteers who protect and care for trees and forests

One colleague noted that it was a new direction for me. While I grant it’s a new kind of medium — public art, exterior installation, sculptural — it’s such a direct outgrowth of all my burned forest paintings that it feels both strange — no permanent artifact — and completely familiar.

2 comments on “New direction or new branch from the same trunk?

  1. karenarand says:

    Suze… how ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. You are doing extraordinary work, and it’s very inspirational for me.. Congratulations on the grant, and I would love to see the installation!

    My best, Karen

  2. […] project which will not result in a painting. Tree Futures, the outdoor installation described in my previous post, is more like working on software development than painting a picture. Who will do what when, what […]

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