Tree Talk: Artists Speak For Trees
Thursday, October 29
10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET
EUROPE: Scotland/Ireland/England:18:00 GMT, Belgium/Germany/Spain: 19:00 UTC
Casey Lance Brown, Bia Gayotto, Jennifer Gunlock, Tracy Taylor Grubbs, Marion Wilson
The beauty and mystery of trees has long been a subject for artists, and more recently, concern for the survival of forests (the lungs of our planet) has been paramount. Each month, artists working in a diversity of media share their artworks and ideas about these most essential and extraordinary living beings. Additionally, guest speakers including scientists, writers and activists are invited to present their work and contribute to the dialogue.
Tree Talk is moderated by Sant Khalsa, ecofeminist artist and activist, whose work has focused on critical environmental and societal issues including forests and watersheds for four decades.
Co-sponsored by Joshua Tree Center for Photographic Arts
Members and one guest are free. General Public can attend for a $10. Capacity is 100 participants. All participants MUST REGISTER.
Casey Lance Brown will trace the tangled paths that led to kudzu’s outsized reputation as the posterchild of invasive plants, touching on the xenophobic, regionalist, and moralizing tropes that (mis)guided the way. Exaggerated statistics lead to exaggerated labeling, which leads to his own exaggerated series on the subject. Brown is an American multidisciplinary artist who studied at Duke University, Harvard Design School, and as a fellow of the American Academy in Rome. His work often reveals the perverse ways in which human systems use, abuse, and adapt to the planet’s surface. Originally trained as a landscape architect, he fabricates super-resolution images to dramatize the novel environments of the Anthropocene. Each image series focuses on a landscape type that was/is/will be abandoned when our collective fickle attention and economic speculation move on to greener pastures. caseylancebrown.com
Bia Gayotto is a multimedia artist and curator whose interdisciplinary approach combines photography, video, installations and books, with elements of research, documentation, performance and collaboration. Memoirs is a photographic series of tree stumps. In post-production Gayotto uses a process that filters light, and like an X-ray reveals details not seen by the naked eye. The marks that emerge from this process are similar to DNA, a history of the inner life of trees. The series raises questions about life and decay, deforestation and global warming, in hopes to protect tens of thousands of trees that might vanish in our lifetimes. Gayotto earned her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996 and her work has been featured in exhibitions Internationally. biagayotto.com
Jennifer Gunlock will present her perception of how trees and plants are regarded and handled in contemporary Western culture. Our economy’s obsession with ownership and dominance, as opposed to working in partnership with plants, is expressed here. In her work she often creates fictional, possible future landscapes long after a civilization has vanished, where nature has over the length of time adapted to, and thrived in, this new habitat. Gunlock, who is based in Long Beach, California, embeds photographs from her travels into her collage-drawings. She received her MFA at California State University, Long Beach and has exhibited at Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, and Angels Gate Cultural Center. She has been Artist in Residence at Cill Rialaig in Ireland and PLAYA in Oregon, among others. jennifergunlock.com
Tracy Taylor Grubbs, a painter and multi-disciplinary artist, will discuss her Listening Project Series that focuses on mark making in collaboration with natural forces including trees and forests near the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Her work is positioned at the intersection of nature, culture and spirituality. Grubbs employs repetition and chance operations in her time-based work opening new dialogues with nature, and reframing her understanding of time and place. For several years she worked on environmental restoration and conservation projects in California. Her work has been shown in museums and galleries in the U.S. and abroad. Grubbs studied art and art history at the San Francisco Art Institute, U.C. Berkeley and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She received her B.A. in Environmental Studies and Political Philosophy from St. Lawrence University. She lives and works in San Francisco, California. tracygrubbs.com
Marion Wilson investigates ecology and landscape to foster a closer connection to self and place in her work. Through photographs, paintings and installations she interrogates relations to nature at a time when extreme climate change threatens ecosystems, livelihoods, and communities. Wilson builds collaborative partnerships with botanists, architects, and urban communities by accessing individual expertise and working non-hierarchically. Her studio practice explores industrialized landscapes, useful and stress tolerant botanies, with a special interest in moss. Wilson was an Associate Professor at Syracuse University from 2007-17, where she institutionalized an art curriculum called New Directions in Social Sculpture employing recycled materials and unlikely collaborations to revitalize urban spaces. Wilson is the founder of MLAB and the Mobile Field Station, an eco/art lab in a renovated RV, and 601 Tully, the renovation of an abandoned residence turned drug house into a neighborhood art museum on the westside of Syracuse, NY. marionwilson.com
Gif Image above: ©Casey Lance Brown, Hunting for Kudzilla I, 2019, digitial composit on dye-infused metallic print, 50 x 40 inches; ©Jennifer Gunlock, Backcountry II, 2020, mixed media paper collage and drawing on panel, 36 x 36 inches;©Tracy Taylor Grubbs, Tree Listening, Point Reyes, CA, 2017-2019, gathering marks on canvas, (installation view); ©Bia Gayotto, Memoirs (written by trees), 2020, archival inkjet print on 100% cotton rag, 20 x 20 inches; ©Marion Wilson, The Landscape is Sanctuary to Our Fears, 2020 (installation at William Paterson University, Court Gallery).