Family Tree Sculpture

The Family Tree series is based on the simple but profound truth that we humans are connected to one another the earth and our environment. It rose from a question raised for a group exhibit shortly after 9/11/2001. The exhibit’s purpose was to have artists respond visually to the tragic events.
The questions that I grappled with were about how to go on with life, what did I personally learn from this event and what do we need to learn as a culture, and as a species to prevent this hatred from growing and destroying us.
The result was my first piece in this series. I didn’t know it at the time but I had opened a direction that eventually became 20 pieces and will probably continue to grow.
I chose to paint on canvas but treat it as fabric, stretching it over the organic forms of branches that I had constructed into frames. I rejected the rectilinear forms of the past signifying the need for new approaches that are more attune with nature.
The elemental nature of the materials point to the simplicity of the idea of interconnection.The portraits and the symbols point to our  shared humanity while acknowledging our differences.
For an idea that is so basic, it seems to allude us when tragedies pass and memories fade. When we forget this core reality we make decisions that are at best short sighted and at worst horrific.

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