Bark Drawings

The flesh of my palm presses firmly against a tree’s bark sensing the ridges pushing back. A 6B pencil traces this memory of touch, marking time – time innate to the growth of trees as water and nutrients travel through its trunk’s vascular system, tree rings a visual of its growth.

The Bark Drawings are a series of mural-sized works depicting major species of coniferous trees within our coastal temperate rainforest – Douglas fir, Western hemlock, Sitka spruce, Western red cedar. With a history of aggressive logging practices and, more recently, changes in global climate niches, these urban forests are altered and altering landscapes. The Western red cedar is already showing signs of decline from repetitive droughts. They are forests in transition.

As when experiencing individual tall conifers in close proximity, the Bark Drawings relate to a bodily awareness, to one’s own as well as to the other. Texture and pattern is abstracted and in subtle ways repeats itself, retaining the unique markings of a hand or of nature.