Tag Archives: trees

A Large Suspended Tree Trunk Carved Down to a Frayed Rope by Maskull Lasserre 

Schrodinger’s Wood. Ash tree trunk, chain hoist, gantry. 156 x 16 x 15 inches

If you had to summarize an all-encompassing theme to describe Maskull Lasserre’s artistic practice, the word would probably be tension. From the balance of life and death to the opposing forces of war and peace, the Candian artist explores tension not only metaphorically but physically as well. Case in point, his latest piece titled Schrodinger’s Wood carved from the trunk of an Ash tree that relies on the tree’s inner core to serve as a tangled mass of rope in the process of fraying from the weight of itself. The work appears to share a kindred spirit to his sliced piano artwork, Improbable Worlds. You can see more views on his website.

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Forests Cut into Vehicles and Street Signage by Dan Rawlings 

Artist Dan Rawlings merges subject matter that would seem to be in direct contrast to its medium: trees cut into an old silo or ferns that sprout from rusty street signage. A collision of urban and rural. “I try to create images that remind people of the moments when everything seems possible and free,” says Rawlings, “times when climbing a tree, or sitting admiring the way its branches twist and curl means nothing, but means everything.”

One of his most ambitious pieces, titled Nature Delivers, depicts the shell of a forest cut into the walls of an old delivery truck that was commissioned by Kendal Calling and Walk the Plank for the Lost Eden festival. Unfortunately, somebody set fire to the work earlier this year. You can see more of Rawling’s work on Instagram and in his online gallery.

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Wooden Furniture Sculpted by Pontus Willfors Sprouts Unwieldy Roots and Limbs 

Organic chair. Maple wood, 68 x 64 x 72 in.

Through his sculptural practice, artist Pontus Willfors says that he seeks to examine “aspects of nature that are viewed by our society as product, nuisance or waste.” One of his frequently recurring motifs is the form of tree branches and root systems that sprout from from everyday objects as seen in this collection of furniture pieces that remind us explicitly of the material’s origins.

Willfors was born in Sweden and now lives and works in LA. These sculptures and several other artworks were on view as part of his exhibition titled Homeland at Edward Cella Art+Architecture in 2015. (via iGNANT)

Organic chair. Maple wood, 68 x 64 x 72 in.

Table with four chairs, 2015. White oak and honey locust wood, 146 x 160 x 168 in.

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Kayashima: The Japanese Train Station Built Around a 700-Year-Old Tree 

Photo by Kosaku Mimura/Nikkei

In the Northeast suburbs of central Osaka stands a curious train station unlike any other. Kayashima Station features a rectangular hole cut into the roof of the elevated platform and, from inside, a giant tree pokes its head out like a stalk of broccoli. It’s almost like a railway version of Laputa.

The large camphor tree is older than most records but officials believe it to be around 700 years old. The story of how this tree and station became, quite literally, intertwined, varies depending on who you ask. It certainly has to do with a great reverence for nature, but also a fair amount of superstition.

Kayashima Station first opened in 1910 and, at the time, the camphor tree stood right next to the station. For the next 60 years the station remained largely unchanged. But an increase in population and overcrowding began to put pressure on the station and plans for an expansion where approved in 1972, which called for the tree to be cut down.

But the camphor tree had long been associated with a local shrine and deity. And when locals found out that station officials planned to remove the tree there was a large uproar. Tales began to emerge about the tree being angry, and unfortunate events befalling anyone who attempted to cut it down. Someone who cut a branch off later in the day developed a high fever. A white snake was spotted, wrapped around the tree. Some even saw smoke arise from the tree (it was probably just a swarm of bugs).

And so, the station officials eventually agreed to keep the tree and incorporate it into the new elevated platform’s design. In 1973 construction began and the new station was completed in 1980. The station even surrounded the base of the tree with a small shrine. To this day, the tree still stands thanks to a strong, local community and a little bit of superstition. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

Photo by Studio Ohana.

Photo by Studio Ohana.

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Full Grown: Trees Grown into Furniture and Art Objects 

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Full Grown’s prototype willow chair now in the permanent collection at the National Museum of Scotland.

The most common way of producing wooden furniture is fairly straightforward: grow the proper trees for a few decades, chop ’em down, cut them into smaller pieces and assemble the pieces into a chair. Derbyshire-based furniture designer Gavin Munro wondered if he could try a wholly different approach: what if he could just grow chairs? What if trees could be forced to grow in chair-like shapes and through strategic sculpting and grafting result in an annual “chair harvest.” After a lengthy years-long trial in his mother’s garden and a sturdy proof-of-concept, Full Grown was born.

Munro points out that the idea of growing furniture actually dates back millennia. The Chinese were known to dig holes to fill with chair-shaped rocks and had tree roots grow through the gaps, while the Egyptians and Greeks had a method for growing small stools. But Full Grown appears to be on a scale entirely of its own, with an entire farm destined to be harvested into chairs, assorted light fixtures, and other unusual objects. He shares a bit about the process which can take between 4 to 8 years:

In essence it’s an incredibly simple art. You start by training and pruning young tree branches as they grow over specially made formers. At certain points we then graft them together so that the object grows into one solid piece – I’m interested in the way that this is like an organic 3D printing that uses air, soil and sunshine as its source materials. After it’s grown into the shape we want, we continue to care for and nurture the tree, while it thickens and matures, before harvesting it in the winter and then letting it season and dry. It’s then a matter of planing and finishing to show off the wood and grain inside.

Full Grown’s first prototype willow chair has already found its way into the permanent collection at the National Museum of Scotland, and Munro and his team just launched a Kickstarter to help them bridge the gap in the final year before their first harvest, nearly 11 years in the making. You can learn more on their website.

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An Eleven-Story-Tall Tree Hugger Sprouts on the Side of a Building in Chile 

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Image provided by Hecho en Casa

Italian artist Francesco Camillo Giogino, or Millo (previously here and here), has painted his latest sky-high mural in the heart of Chile. Never Give Up, created in his signature cartoonish style, features a female figure in the forefront clutching the trunk of a tree. The city behind the girl is black and white, causing the eyes to focus most clearly on a single green vine growing from the heart-shaped stump. The work, which aims to express the hope that Millo believes all hold in their hearts, was produced for Hecho En Casa festival this past month. You can see more of his nature-based and murals on his website, and on Facebook.

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Image provided by Fotosaereas

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Image provided by Fotosaereas

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Image provided by Hecho en Casa

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Image provided by Fernanda Landin

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Image provided by Fernanda Landin

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Image provided by Hecho en Casa

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Image provided by Hecho en Casa

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