Unchopping trees

A fallen vine maple tree being stitched back together. 
Several years ago I made this sculpture, ‘stitch in time’, which was assembled from the trunk of an eighty-year-old Western hemlock that grew in the yard of my family home.  It was just one tree, but it was one of many lost now; trees that I watched over, as much as they watched over me.
The opening lines of W.S. Merwin’s prose poem, ‘Unchopping a tree’, prescribes how to begin the arduous task of putting a tree back together.  “a stitch in time” was part of a group installation titled, ‘Track’, located in a back alley in Vancouver, BC, along the waterfront close to the original location of Hastings Mill.  This work is both a patchwork quilt and a boom of logs.  To patch one tree back together is to speak of irrevocable loss; sewing through the rings of a tree is to stitch through time itself, the tree’s memory.
Using the same cross-stitch, I am now stitching back together a fallen vine maple tree.  Whereas sewing the Western hemlock rounds was physically demanding, the vine maple is a more delicate work, the six inch sections articulated as the limbs of an antique doll.

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