Mom always says, "never cut a knot, always untie it. If you can't figure out how to untie a knot, you'll never figure out how to solve your problems."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

fabric in the landscape

Welsh-born artist and photographer Olsen Zander has been wrapping trees in white fabric around the UK for the better part of a decade. 

Tree Line
The series of constructed photographs is situated in the forest.  They are executed in Surrey, Hampshire and Wales.  They are site specific that Zander sees as interventions with the landscape.  The tree "wraps" are done with white material and is to be seen as a visual relationship among the trees, the un-tree objects and the horizon: or what you would see if you were behind the camera's viewfinder.  So you are the photographer, the constructor of the image and image viewer.  A dynamic position to have. 

Another artist working with trees and wraps are:kjellgrenkaminsky Joakin Kaminsty and Maria Poll

Clear Cut

This work was done during the summer of 2011. The artists would go into the forest of norther Sweden. They carried 15 meters of reflective fabric - the mirror affect. They wanted to use these strips to interpret the life cycle of the forest.
These however are not natural in indigenous forests. Apparently 90% of the Swedish forests are used in forestry therefore the life cycles are interrupted - here they only live 60 years. The artists seek to make a connection with/to time. Memory visualization of an earlier more verdant time.  The mirror like strips take in the light, color and smells (via memory) but also the cut lines that are their future. They hope to evoke, through memory, such sensual experience and use it to save what stands for the future. 
The artists "lived" in this environment, observing the changes - a dialog of surroundings, time of day, sun set/raise, the duration of the night and the incoming mist and the tree/reflections. 

Joakin and Maria, left, without a trace.  And as it should be.  We should enter a place and leave without change. We are not the natives...our rights are not extended into these places.  Replant, replacing is not ours.

A tree flag:
This post was inspired by Lynne Hoppe tree flags. Lynne drapes trees with silk flags.  I find this to be a very special gesture in restrict to the ancients.  I hope we all find time to visit a tree.                                                                              


  1. the visuals in the 'clear cut' project are amazing. when i first looked, it appeared that the trees were cut and were suspended in mid air. interesting post. i'm going to be a tree in my next life.

  2. oh, ani...

    this idea of tree wraps fascinates me, and i know that deanna7trees has already 'gotten' this, because not long ago i went to her blog and read about her tree wraps. there is something powerful about it, but i don't know what on a conscious level.

    i very much appreciate your mentioning that the forests in sweden are not living out their natural life cycle, nor is the natural ecological succession allowed to occur in these managed forests. this is an important distinction for me as someone who has a degree in forestry and who has worked as a 'professional' forester. it did not take me long to realize that i could never participate in the 'management' of trees, so i left the field long ago. my love for non-managed forests is a deep love, and to spend time in them one senses immediately what is lost in the managed forests.

    thank you for this post...



  3. I loved this post .. and happened over here to thank you for stopping over to my blog. Your writing is always filled with fascinating bits of information. When I first started blogging I found the wrapped tree blog and joined in. It was an attempt to wrap a tree and see what happened to the fabric. Here is a link to it http://wraptrees.blogspot.com/ and while doing that there was a little contest to write a story about a photo I think Kaite posted of some trees in Japan that were wrapped. I wrote a story and it was attempt to do some writing. It is my most viewed post on my blog. I'm not sure why that is .. but it's a sweet story. Here is a link to that. http://thesearedbluehaircomment.blogspot.com/2010/10/blog-post.html. I think it is interesting that many people that follow the same blogs have so many things in common. I think we all love trees too. :) Have a fabulous day and so glad you are blogging!!!

  4. Olsen Zander's tree wraps are amazing.

    I had no idea of his work until you showed it here. Thanks.


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