Bowen Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
I hadn’t shown in a dealer gallery exhibition since 1994 and in Wellington since 1991, having chosen to devote years to creating art in nature. Prior to this I had dealers globally. It felt good to return to a gallery in Wellington after all these years.
By chance, a month or so before the show, I was cycling to my home town, Kerikeri, and was shocked and awestruck to see a huge redwood tree being completely removed bit by bit from top to bottom by chainsaw and crane – a tree I’d known since childhood.
Familiar with my work, the site overseer kindly gave me an 80cm high x 500cm diameter section (including radiating branches). It was this that inspired the living sculpture that became the feature of the show.
Pinned to the wall of the gallery was an accompanying text describing my childhood recollection of the tree and its recent demise. Now the tree will live again as it returns to the earth, the stone shards descending to the ground with it – ultimately to lock together in the centre as a free standing radiating symbol of the gills of a fungi, the greatest recycler on our planet. It could take 70 years.