Monday, 28 February 2011

roots roots, marvelous roots...

So went home and found some more roots where I had already been, this time I went prepared with digging equipment and waterproof clothing.  It was pretty muddy! 
This was the first tree I had in mind, but the second visit in, I decided it wasn't going to be possible, as the root diameter was taller than me, and not all of it was out of the earth yet!  It was stunning though.  Looking at it closely, with the right light, closeups would look brilliant properly photographed.  I would like to do this and study the roots with intimacy, painting small areas of them.  The colour and form is brilliant.
Here's a closeup I took with a flash on.  If I could get a better light in here other than flash or sunlight, I think it would high light the depth of the roots brilliantly. Another idea I like, is to cut an area (probably square) out of the root, and frame it within a backless wooden frame so you can focus on the shape and form of the root itself, rather than the whole thing.
 Here, you can just about see the size of the whole tree and its root system.  Looking at this one tree, made me realise how busy underground really is, when you look at this one tree and the size of its root, and then the amount of trees surrounding it, that are still underground. 
 This is another root I found that was already mostly out of the ground.  I began diggin away at it to see what was below, and found a few hibinating hornets and a red-tailed queen bee, all happily dosing in the February chill,  I didnt want to disturb them anymore so, left it where it was.  A few days later I came back with my dad who helped me fully remove it safely.  It was the right size, weight and diameter for the bunker exhibition I'm planning.  At the moment, it's drying out and keeping safe at my mums house, later on today I hope to go and work out a way of attaching it to the ceiling of the nuclear bunker.
 Surrounded by a lot of stones that have been trapped by the roots that have grown around them.
Here is a small section of the roots I orginally wanted, they were felled trees that had been pulled up by machinery and the main roots and the secondary roots coming off, were all pretty much intact still.  I got very excited after asking permission of the land owner, and got my dad down with his chainsaw and cut the root system away, only to find that it way WAY to heavy to ever hang up on a ceiling.  Darn...

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Artist blag...

(Anselm Kiefer, Palmsonntag, 2007, 44 panels of mixed media on board, fiberglass and resin palm tree, clay bricks and steel support, dimensions variable.) 
In the beginning of this project, even with all my ideas, I couldn't seem to find many artists that related to my ideas.  Through a lot of research and help from other studying artists, I have managed to find a glut all within a week of looking.  So far they mainly relate to my intended idea of bringing a root system of a tree into a space (my exhibition in March and the studio area later) and hanging it from its cut trunk so it looks as if it is growing through the ceiling, and that the viewers are standing where the soil usually is.  The idea is to put the tree into a different context, causing the viewers to question what they see and how they see it.  It's also looking at the question, 'where does nature fit into an urban space?' as the exhibition I'm showing in, is in a nuclear bunker, an urban space surrounded by a very rural landscape, it is insinuating the rural element pushing its way back in, almost like the trees in Chinobal:
 Alan Sonfist is an artist who looks at how nature reclaims urban spaces, which fits really closely into what Im doing.  His work is very different to most other 'landartists' and may it be a bit strange some of the time, he is very focused on his ideas.
Another artist, whos work utterly astounds me with its aesthetic marvel, is Giuseppe Penone:
The Ghost Forest is also a very related art project to what I am doing but on a much larger scale.  Just a different way to show the beauty of a part of nature we never get to fully see.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

roots and trees...

So I've been foraging!  Walking round local woods and forests, any areas with trees really, and looking for trees that have been felled already, fallen over themselves, or where the roots are slightly exposed already from erosion or poor soil.  So far I've founda few:  I'v had an offer from a friend with a farm, saying they have a lot of trees that have exposed roots by a river that I can go and have a look at, My dads got a sucker plum tree which he says Im more than welcome to (but I'm worried if it's a sucker, it will be growing from the old stock and be a funny shape).  I've found a few old ones down on an old train track in Cornwall, that have fallen and shouldn't have too much root damage, if they're not too rotten anyway.  Here are a few snaps I've got so far: