The Big Tree Project
June 29 - Aug 31, 2003
The Big Tree Project, an exhibition of works by over one hundred artists, memorializes an ailing, ancient oak, cut down to protect the people beneath it. Mourning the tree’s passing, the communities of San Francisco’s East Bay and beyond are honoring the big tree’s life and history through artworks created from its wood.
Artworks in The Big Tree Project use the tree’s wood in a striking variety of forms and in conjunction with many different mediums. The Big Tree branch that was the starting point for Host, by Emeryville artist Mari Andrews, has been carved by Andrews with a trench that she filled with soil, and is now the site for a lush new growth of transplanted moss. Human/Nature, a tabletop fantasy forest of miniaturized blue bonsai trees decorated with crystals, is the work of San Francisco artist Lauren Davies. San Francisco artist Jeff King’s Enso, a massive, doughnut-shaped hanging sculpture, seven feet in diameter, was created from delicate 1/8”-thick slices of the ancient tree supported by plywood and held together by steel bolts. Mitosis by Martinez artist Tim Sharman is a regroupable assortment of wooden rounds bearing cartoon-like figurative drawings. And Walnut Creek artist Bill Tarleton has created classic lathe-turned vases and bowls. These works, like all the others on view, have been created out of wood from The Big Tree especially for this exhibition.