Cube form, yakisugi/ silver nitrate works: The tree is cut into a cube, a simple, reduced geometric form. This form references a variety of elements both man-made and originating in the natural world. This duality is a thread in my work. The surface had been naturally created through a chemical process and has made the surface impenetrable and not vulnerable to the natural elements. This freezing or solidifying making static transforms the natural object into anew amalgamation of elements. The lateral area of transition invokes the passage of time and other natural systems, such as tides and atmospheric conditions. This transition can be seen as a metaphor between two different states, one reflective of light, one absorbing of light. The choice of the cube form is a reference to the language of modern art and a dialogue with the history of sculpture.
Reclaimed redwood, charred in style of Yakisugi or Shou Sugi Ban. Combining my history of Okayama where Yakisugi is used as an architectural exterior cladding to prevent fires and insect proofing with my upbringing in the Santa Cruz mountains redwood forest. Ancient knowledge in Japan, using fire to burn the Sugi wood, after burning the material becomes stronger (fireproof), destroy a material to protect the home, quite poetic. Yakisugi is a material of transformation which very clearly has undergone a fundamental surface change via fire, as wood turns to carbon. Silver nitrate is applied on part (half) of the surface, highlighting the mokume or wood grain and texture of the wood. Wood as a particularly unique material as the mokume / wood grain tells the history and age and chronology of the tree's experience. Silver nitrate being very reflective (silver is the most reflective of the metals on earth), has an effect of dematerializing the volume; a mirror becomes partially invisible as it reflects its surroundings. Viewer is reflected in the mirror silver nitrate. Opportunity for engagement with the viewer. A simplification and focus on the elements, paring down to essentials the elements of wood, fire, metal. Silver nitrate mirror becomes watery or perhaps air-like. A harmony of elements, an interaction of manmade and organic. One context is the wild fires that are now happening in California where I lived as a child. Interesting fact: Redwood tree seeds do not open unless they are exposed to a large forest fire. The fire destroys the trees but activates new seeds. Personal note: When I lived in the Santa Cruz mountains forest I noticed that lightening-struck Redwood trees are quite similar to my Buddhist temple facade in Okayama. Temple is covered in Yakisugi, this made me feel quite comfortable as I notice that elements and materials in nature exist simply and purely on earth and belong to us all.