roots

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Art

A Three-Story Tree Acts as a Scaffold for a Growing Community in a Mural by Ethan Murrow

May 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Garden” in Seattle. All images © Ethan Murrow, by Julia Featheringill and Stewart Clements

In a 53-foot mural of exposed roots and tangled branches, Boston-based artist Ethan Murrow (previously) situates an energetic construction site manned by human workers, who heave their materials and balance across taught ropes. “The Garden” is replete with scaffolding, small tool sheds, and suspended orbs of sod and lumber among the sturdy boughs. With flags staked on its top, the tree serves as an organic backdrop for the humans’ manufactured expansion. Evidenced by the figure raising a tree branch to the sky in the top left corner, though, the workers’ actions often appear peculiar and inconsequential.

In a statement, Murrow explains that his scenic works are rooted in United States history and culture. Whereas traditional narratives are founded on the idea that progress and human superiority are natural, the artist works to subvert those assumptions.

As our world leaks and creaks forward, landscape can act as the ultimate term and representation of the joys and foibles of our actions. Landscape is an aesthetic ideal, an edited view of reality that suits the maker—in essence, a fiction. For me, the word has come to define our use of images and stories to convince ourselves of who we are, what we know to be true, and what we wish was fact.

Rendered in high flow acrylic and paint pens, “The Garden” is installed at Expedia Group headquarters in Seattle. Many of Murrow’s projects that are concerned with historical narratives and human progress can be found on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Domesticated Root Systems by Diana Scherer Form Twisting and Repetitive Patterns in Patches of Earth

March 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Amsterdam-based artist Diana Scherer investigates the desire for humans to control nature through her series Exercises in Root System Domestication. The project combines design, craft, and science to manipulate plants’ subterranean systems into forming mesmerizing interlocking patterns that are unlike what is found organically. To “train” the roots to grow in such complex patterns, Scherer develops underground geometric templates that the roots grow along and merge with as they grow.

This intelligent behavior of plants below ground, away from humanity’s watchful eye, is another inspiration for Scherer’s work. “Darwin discovered that plants are a lot more intelligent than everybody thought,” she explains on her website. “For contemporary botanists, this buried matter is still a wondrous land. There is a global investigation to discover this hidden world. I also want to explore it and apply the ‘intelligence’ of plants in my work.” You can view more of her root explorations on her website and on Facebook.

 

 



Art

Intricate Metal Root Sculptures by Sun-Hyuk Kim Take Human Form

February 17, 2019

Andrew LaSane

South Korean artist Sun-Hyuk Kim (previously) cuts, welds, melts, and curves pipes and wires into structures that are part human anatomy and part twisted plant root systems. The branch-like metal blood vessels create the outline of limbs, abdomens, and heads, as well as the trees that appear to have sprouted from them. Made entirely of stainless steel, the sculptures are meant to signify our imperfect and incomplete existence in relation to the natural world.

“My art is a tool to discover the truth and remind myself [and] viewers through various media,” Sun-Hyuk told Colossal. From large head-shaped root sculptures connected at the nose, to full body works with large trunks protruding from the head, back, and torso, the sculptures are often dramatic depictions of the human experience and what the artist considers truth.

New sculptures and drawings will be shown at Sun-Hyuk’s upcoming solo show at the Suhadam Art Space in South Korea from June 7 through August 5, 2019. To see more of his current and future works, you can also follow the artist on Instagram. (via Ignant)

 

 



Design

A System of Root-Like Benches Spreads Organically Through a South Korean Public Park

November 26, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Root Bench is a multi-height bench system installed in Hangang Park in Seoul, South Korea. The design is a winning proposal by Yong Ju Lee, which creates a circular protrusion of roots that provides space for rest and relaxation. The nearly 100-foot diameter installation is formed from conjoined slats of wood attached to a metal frame, and sprawls from a centralized point in the park. Three different heights accommodate children’s seating, adult chairs, and tables for picnicking. This provides space for all sizes, and allows gatherings that vary from intimate to community-wide celebrations. (via designboom)

 

 



Art

New Fusion Frames by Darryl Cox Fuse Gnarled Tree Roots with Ornate Picture Frames

February 7, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Since 2011, Oregon-artist Darryl Cox (previously) has been making “Fusion Frames,” sculptural hybrids of picture frames and segments of tree roots. Each piece begins with a search to find a frame that closely matches the reclaimed roots he obtains from manzanita, juniper, and aspen trees, or even from grapevines. The pieces require extensive amounts of woodworking and painting to seamlessly fuse the two objects together, meaning Cox can only produce around 25 or so pieces each year.

Cox will have work on view later this year at the The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, and he’s now reperesented by the Vickers Collection. You can see more of his recent work on Facebook.