THE GIVING TREE

"The Giving Tree" is inspired by the children’s book of the same name by beloved American author and artist, Seth Silverstein. The story deals with man’s greed and compassion, the possibility of limited resources in our forests, the complete sacrifice of motherhood. A classic since it was published in 1964, the story opens up questions not only about our environment, but about the balances of need and want in human nature.

 

As shown in 2008 in California, first at the Shed Gallery (Newport Beach, California) and in 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia, and then the Sesnon Gallery at the University of California, Santa Cruz;  the room or garden is filled with fresh branches from local trees of the area. In the case of the Southern California gallery, it was Canary Island Pine, in Santa Cruz, it was Redwood. Many of my installations incorporate living or natural materials as an echo of our surroundings, but also to bring the space into "real time" as compared to artistic "created time". Other installations have used sound, video, or music, to bring the viewer into a total sensation of the place. Dripping water, ice, flowers, herbs, cherry branches, moss, are all materials I've used according to the particular piece's need.

 

"The Giving Tree" itself is a construction of steel rods, glass, tidbits of found objects and pure pieces of bohemian crystal, which reflect and jump the light. The structure is rusted, creating a contrast of materials, as in our society: the old and new, the have and have not, the used and the fabricated. The heavy metal of the tree sculptures, contrasts sharply with the delicate glass crystals. These in turn sit strangely and surprisingly amidst the forest of tree branches, frozen water, and dripping, frozen, flower petals.