12 Jul The Tree (Artist Joolie Gibbs)
The tree symbolises or represents this return to wilderness, something we long for, to connect to the lifeforce. As long as there are trees around we feel comforted in this link still existing. They give tangible meaning to our lives, and contain the hope that life will go on.
“In wilderness lies the preservation of the world”, Thoreau.
Once city folk are a day or two into the backcountry with everyday demands left behind, ancient rhythms again resonate with human spirits, and they are lifted up, renewed in body and soul.” says Sigurd Olson.
I document through my artwork the trees and nature that surrounds me that I share with on a daily basis. I live on 5 acres of mostly regrowth forest, and I have attempted to record the different tree species through their leaves over a period of time. Through sketches, drawings and paintings I have attempted to document one tree (grey gum I think) for over 50 continuous days in my drawing a day practice, giving me intimate observation of its many parts and sides. This appetite for recording my surroundings also led to another series which I call ‘Insecta I have dined with’, more than 130 watercolours of the insects that have died in my kitchen over a 3 year period. My fascination with flood debris, particularly that that appears in my environment has led me to documenting the last 3-4 large floods on the Mary River through photos and drawings. This has resulted in several exhibitions in the series titled ‘Flood Language’.
Do I have a fear of nature disappearing and I need proof that it existed? Maybe, or am I acknowledging there is a greater force around me that I need to give my attention to? I tend to think of it as questioning and searching for meaning and connection and unraveling the language of the living species I share the world with.
Max Oelschlaeger writes “Wild nature still offers opportunity for contemplative encounters, occasions for human beings to reflect on life and cosmos, on meaning and significance that transcends the culturally relative categories of modern existence.”