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Posts Tagged ‘Tree Project’

I have received all of my art supplies from storage back east and it is now time to incorporate them into some new pieces! While modifying the old. Particularly thinking about incorporating my Teabag Reuse Project and Full Circle: rebirth of a tree projects with my paper and muslin shirts.

Tea Bags and tags

Tea Bags and tags

Dried Tea Bags

Angles of Art Shirts

Pile of Art Shirts

Art Shirt

Detail of my Tree

Close up of my Tree

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My Tree has made a long journey via USPS. It followed a similar path (except I took a plane, may be it did too!) across the continent back to me. I have great plans for my Tree, the next steps in its life of slow decomposition.

Here are images of how its current condition after journeying across the USA.

This is the box inside a box that my Tree was packaged in for its journey.

This is the box inside a box that my Tree was packaged in for its journey.

Wrapped in it's box.

Wrapped in it’s box.

This is the part of my Tree that was laying on the ground for several years.

This is the part of my Tree that was laying on the ground for several years.

This is the part that was originally glued to the wood base.

This is the part that was originally glued to the wood base.

This is the side of that was exposed to sunlight and snow for years.

This is the side of that was exposed to sunlight and snow for years.

This is now the top of the trunk. Originally the middle of my Tree's trunk.

This is now the top of the trunk. Originally the middle of my Tree’s trunk.

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In 2006 when I came up with the answer to a question of what to do with all the paper piling up in my apartment I had no idea it would turn into an eight year  (and counting)  project. None. But it has and my Tree is at a crossroads, or rather a cross-country adventure. You see my Tree has been removed from its outdoor home. The one it has been in/on for the last five years. Just recently it had been lifted off the ground, taken in-doors to dry and packaged carefully to make its journey and enter into the next stage of its life.

So until my Tree comes back to me I have many photos for you to view. See what wood will do when sitting outside underneath cement after a polar vortex and several years of turbulent northeastern weather.

Bark before lifted Ground after cement stump lifted Bottom of cement stump Ground underneath cement stump side of cement stump Top of cement stump Underneath Tree bark Tree Bark Cement stump Aerial view of what is left of bark Time to dry Underneath the bark Flatness of the Tree

UPDATE!

Check out the video that accompanies the above photos. Taken the same day.

 

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Today’s prompt:

Look at your body of creative work past and present. What work is your favorite? Why? What work are you the most proud of? Why? Are they the same work or different? Explain.

How would you communicate your feelings about this cherished work to a broader audience? How would you share both the work and your ideas about it with the public?

At first my mind went blank..then I immediately thought of my Tree! Why the blank moment? I am a processor, no not a computer processor, but similar. I take a moment to absorb the data presented to me. My Tree for those who are soon to become familiar with it… take a look over here https://amybauerart.wordpress.com/tag/tree-project/ This project is both my favorite and what I am most proud of.
I created my Tree for a final thesis for my BA in Fine Arts. It was quite a challenge for my advisor was away 99% of the semester and the other instructors did not have an arts background and did not understand what I was doing. I even gathered many letters in an endeavor to appeal the final grade they gave me. In the end it wasn’t worth fighting an entire department and wasn’t going to make a difference in my GPA or future plans. Nor my Tree. My thesis show was a success. The public liked it. I entered it and displayed my Tree at another show. Then I made a decision that had a major impact on me and my art. I decided to put it in my friend’s backyard to decompose. Over five years later it is still there! OMG! We thought it would be in her yard for three months tops. Nature has rewarded me many times over. Over the years my Tree has been in many shows via pictures and videos. And at each show I briefly describe it to viewers. My video is silent so that all the visuals can really be absorbed. In the beginning I said something like this “conceptual environmental piece focuses on recycling”. Since then I have added it is one step beyond placing something into a blue bin. But really my story is simple. What to do with all this paper accumulating in my apartment (especially as an undergrad..all those papers and tests). So I tore up my receipts, statements, papers, as I watched a movie. Then I broke it all down to pulp and reshaped it into a tree (modeled after the poplar) and put it outside to recycle naturally. I am still working on a concise explanation. But I do know what I am doing and saying is having a positive reaction from the public and that is why it is my favorite work.
Tree and trees

This is what my Tree looked like the day I planted it outside in a yard.

This is what it looked like recently.

This is what it looked like recently.

This is what it currently looks like… somewhere under a foot of snow!

This is what it currently looks like… somewhere under a foot of snow!

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Friday was my Tree’s fifth year outside. A celebratory event was to take place. But alas Mother Nature did leave over a foot of snow on top of it. So we decided to post pone the events one day. This wasn’t going to happen. The image below shows the branches of the butterfly tree that my Tree is underneath. And the massive amount of icy snow that is currently covering the area. So… event rain check please! Good news is event documentation has been discussed. Event date to be determined.

My Tree is under there some where!

My Tree is under there some where!

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Friday, February 21, 2014 will be five years that my Tree will have been outside in northern New Jersey. Which at the moment is being pounded by Mother Nature. She is constantly dumping snow down upon it. But that is winter in the north-east.

This year I have a special plan for my Tree. It involves an idea that the backyard owner (where my Tree is) and my idea combined. I, like all of you will be attending the ceremony from a distance. As always there will be photographs and hopefully a video. There will be another move for my Tree and perhaps a digging out if it is covered by a foot or more of snow.

The life (yes it has taken on a life of its own) of my Tree will continue on and involve the USPS for delivery. Oops I let a little of the plan out! Yes this year marks the fifth anniversary outside and the eighth year of its existence, but it will be living on in more than images.

So until the celebratory post lets take a look back ….

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From 3,000 miles away I can detect it. Actually this picture revealed the colorations of the final breakdown of my Tree. This picture was taken December 22,2013. There is clear color changes on both the cement (giant circular piece that has a wooden dowel in the center and underneath a wood platform connected by screw and nut) and the trunk (whitish/now blackish paper laying north of the cement base). Is this mold? Is this a natural occurrence in the breakdown of materials left outside to decompose? The cement piece reminds me of old castles (in Europe) and old military forts (in the USA). The decay is slow, but it is there.

Strange Tint

Once again it is time to ask… will it make it to the next anniversary? Or shall I have a Viking Burial for it? just kidding. that wouldn’t be very natural of me. Or would it?!

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Snow in the NE

As I enjoy warm weather days my Tree continues to thrive in the snow. Well sort of. In this picture you can see that it has been snowing in New Jersey. And my Tree is so flat now that you cannot see it at all in this picture! For those that would like some back up info on my Tree click on the tag Tree Project.

Snow in the NE

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So it has been a long (six plus years) since my Tree project began. The feeling of the last three years is that it will never end. In an impressive way. That it will always be there in some form. And it is. For now. It has completely disconnected from its base. It has successfully morphed from a conceptual expression to an abstraction of itself.

What have I learned from my Tree? More than uncovered composting takes longer than one would think. A lot longer. But also and more personal that you really don’t know where an idea will take you. If you let it.

Just one tiny idea. Break down into pulp all of the receipts lying around my apartment. Glue them back into the shape of a tree. That was the entire original idea. Not much.

Didn’t include having my Tree shown outside of the town I lived in. Nor sit in my friend’s back yard. For multiple years. Make videos every time it was moved. Take thousands of photos. Have a dog pee on it. Have a caterpillar crawl across the edge of the trunk. Have spiders weave webs inside of it. Have termites live underneath it. And they were eating its base. Have it buried in snow and ice. Have it stand up through wind storms. Have bears, deers, and other wild animals pass by it. Have small children touch it in wonder. Have my friend’s husband wish it would leave the yard. And inspire many of my other projects.

Below are some images of it in its current state. It is a bit hard to distinguish from the foliage. A success of its morphing ability. Camouflaged.

My Tree  - Disconnected Looks so tiny Underneath Distance Zoomed in on my Tree My Tree from other yard

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A piano is covered, but we mustn’t forget the inspirational tree. My Tree and I live further apart than ever, so I reached out to the owner of the yard it resides in to get an update. As expected all is grand and there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference since the February four year’s outside celebration. Take a look, let me know if you agree with me.

The cement and wood base of the trunk. Notice you cannot see the square piece of wood it sits on.

The cement and wood base of the trunk. Notice you can barely see the square piece of wood it sits on.

Major disconnection from trunk and inner base.

Major disconnection from trunk and inner base.

A view from the top of my Tree.

A view from the top of my Tree.

Inside of the trunk. My Tree is down, disconnected, but not completely flattened.

Inside of the trunk. My Tree is down, disconnected, but not completely flattened.

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