salvaged wood, carbon fiber, paint

This is a different type of piece for me… yet it’s still an exploration of the same themes I’m so interested in — same language, different dialect, perhaps.

This wood came from the branch of a huge, ancient tree in the gardens of the Château de La Napoule that came down during a huge storm that spring. Its smooth outside was such an interesting juxtaposition to the savagely torn (yet strangely compelling) inside, yet both are inseparably part of the same entity. I saw in the two fractured ends a visual recording of the immense energy of the wind that tore it down, and in this work I try to reveal that.

I rearranged the two halves of the break, rotating one in relation to the other and perching it precariously tip-to-tip in an attempt to bring back to the form some of the sense of tension, of vulnerability, that was in the branch all along and which that particular wind storm revealed that day.

The tear also uncovered a rich interior world hidden beneath its skin — the gestural beauty of the grain, twisting and turning, gnarled and interlocking. There was motion in the wood, not only in the shape that resulted from how it was fractured from the tree, but in the grain of the wood inside, as well. I wanted to explore, deepen, and accentuate all of these qualities with my own interventions.

This is a work I created during my one-year fellowship at the Château de la Napoule in southern France, as part of being awarded the 2022-2023 Prix Henry Clews from the La Napoule Art Foundation.