Tree Talk: Artists Speak For Trees
Thursday, May 20
10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET
EUROPE: Scotland/Ireland/England: 18:00 GMT, Belgium/Germany/Spain: 19:00 UTC
Marie-Luise Klotz, Christopher Lin, Erika Osborne, Leah Wilson
The beauty and mystery of trees has long been a subject for artists, and more recently, concern for the survival of forests (the lungs of our planet) has been paramount. Each month, artists working in a diversity of media share their artworks and ideas about these most essential and extraordinary living beings. Additionally, guest speakers including scientists, writers and activists are invited to present their work and contribute to the dialogue.
Tree Talk is moderated by Sant Khalsa, ecofeminist artist and activist, whose work has focused on critical environmental and societal issues including forests and watersheds for four decades.
Co-sponsored by Joshua Tree Center for Photographic Arts
Members and one guest are free. General Public can attend for a $10. Capacity is 100 participants. All participants MUST REGISTER.
Marie-Luise Klotz considers how nature is deeply entangled in her series "Connected Earth." Inspired by how trees in a forest communicate through their root systems, forming an egoless community in which one life is directly joined to another, Klotz’s images challenge our perception of individuality. Combining fine art and environmental photography, Klotz’s work is deeply rooted in the care and concern for the environment and the natural world. She uses imagery found in nature to create metaphors, depicting how natural concepts and phenomena relate to the human condition. Klotz holds an MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and lives and works in Bozeman, Montana. marieluiseklotz.com
Image: ©Marie-Luise Klotz, Chimera #6, 2017, archival inkjet print, various edition sizes
Christopher Lin will present his sculptural, installation, and performative works focused on empathy, symbiosis, maintenance, and responsibility through active relationships with organisms such as Mimosa pudica (sensitive plants), Spathiphallum (peace lilies), and Selaginella lepidophylla (resurrection plants) as well as mosses and lichen, detritivores, and songbirds. Focusing on the poetics of re-contextualization, he collects, deconstructs, and recombines materials to create chimeras that reflect on the existential trauma of environmental anxiety.
Fueled by a lifelong obsession with fossils, his artworks question the world we inhabit and envision the one we will leave behind. After studying at Yale University and Hunter College, he was awarded the C12 Emerging Artist Fellowship (2016) and Bronx Museum AIM Fellowship (2020). He's based in Brooklyn, New York and is co-director of the artist collective Sprechgesang Institute and teaches at Hunter College. christopherlinstudio.com
Image: ©Christopher Lin, Zuru zuru (Drifting), 2020, various collected mosses and lichens, springtails and dwarf isopods, soil, activated carbon, glass bottles, water, sand, sea glass, and aquarium, 10 1/2 x 16 1/4 x 8 3/8 inches
Erika Osborne is focused on trees as metaphor and subject in an on-going exploration of the relationship between nature and culture. Western forests have become a stage in which economics, politics, aesthetics, and desire confront natural environments and the ecosystems they support. How does this play out? What are the consequences of such interactions? Why do we love and abuse the environment simultaneously? These are just a few of the questions that drive the artists' practice. Osborne has been a contributing author for books and journals on field-based art education and practice. She is the recipient of several grants and awards, including a recent Fulbright fellowship to Mexico. Her work has been highlighted in five books surveying environmental art practices including in Vision and Place: John Wesley Powell and Reimagining the Colorado River Basin (2020). Osborne is Associate Professor at Colorado State University. erikaosborne.com
Image: ©Erika Osborne, Homage to Converse Basin, 2009, Charcoal on vineyard stakes, 84 x 180 inches
Leah Wilson will tell the story of "Listening to the Forest," her installation created for Oregon State University's College of Forestry. The foundation of the project was climbing an old-growth tree each season to pay attention to the way it sways through time. Without time, there is no rhythm, no music of the land. We feel this rhythm within us when we feel we know a place: it becomes a part of us. Wilson's place-specific artwork and writing is informed by physical engagement with the environment, observation, and curiosity toward ecological research. A 2012 residency at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest introduced her to ecologists and long-term research has evolved, becoming a lifelong engagement with the place. Wilson is a founding member of Gray Space, a group of artists claiming agency and circumventing institutional structures while exploring how art influences place and place influences art. leahwilson.com
Image: ©Leah Wilson, Listening to the Forest (Douglas-fir Root), 2020, Acrylic and bio-based resin on birch, Installation detail from 16 panels, 62 x 46 inches each