Though laboured and very much ‘man-made,’ this piece takes the form of its original state - a fallen tree. The piece began as a response to the fires that were raging through the equatorial and arctic forests of the world. The devastation that was to befall the forests of Australia had yet to happen. My intention was to create a piece that symbolised the loss of habitat on which so much life depends but as I worked, an abrupt and angular form began to emerge - the twisted wreckage of a building razed to the ground or the weary guns of some damaged weapon of war. Through the process of making, an initial idea was transforming. The desire for narrative and meaning in my work is paramount. How best can one convey their thoughts and ideas and so participate in the growing conversation that is today’s global consciousness? How can the objects we make begin to speak of such things? Thoughts inspire our making but the very act of making inspires our thinking too. To engage the mind and body in creative action, to be repeatedly challenged by process and material and to take time to contemplate and innovate can greatly further our ability to consider, perceive and grow.
The work is made from a naturally hollowed section of Elm, felled in East Sussex having succumbed to Dutch Elm disease. Chainsaws and other power tools were used in the initial carving with form and surfaces then further refined with chisels, cabinet scrapers and pull saws. The interior has been burned, brushed and oiled while the exterior has been stained with vine black pigment, polished and oiled. In the reductive process of carving, sections of removed wood have been jointed and re-applied to the structure to build and enhance the design.
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