Trees Without Buddha (Blue)
Digital manipulation of a collage
- Laura Glenn

Trees Without Buddha (Blue)

Digital manipulation of a collage

- Laura Glenn

Trees Without Buddha
Collage
- Laura Glenn

Trees Without Buddha

Collage

- Laura Glenn

Sarah Fernandez, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture
class at Cornell, responds to the exhibition Trees & Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum:

"The exhibit was very interesting and from the tree watercolors we did in class I found it was extremely hard to capture the true characteristic of a tree. It was so interesting looking at the different interpretations of trees and different influences trees have had on art and science. I was surprised to see how an entire area of science is based off of the idea of a tree. Just like how all the branches and roots can be traced back to a single trunk, every species theoretically can be traced back to a single common ancestor. Just like branches divide to maximize the area in which leaves are exposed to sunlight, so do species. Species are constantly dividing and evolving to adapt to take advantage of an ecological niche, this idea was completely revolutionary for Charles Darwin to make at the time he did, and the use of a tree as the template to structure evolution progression helped formulate the thesis. Although modern evolutionary theories that try to trace species back to the original common ancestor formulates it more in a ring (because of early reproductive methods), the same concept and idea’s formulated by Darwin and influenced by the tree is held true.

"Another point of the exhibit that I found interesting was the history and common themes of landscape art. My friend who is a fine arts major accompanied me to the exhibit and explained to me that landscape art usually follows a common pattern of tree, land, and background (sky), and asymmetrical. Landscapes are the most common art form though of by people across the country and the world, it is the most inoffensive art form. As we went through the exhibit I saw this pattern, but the most interesting pieces to be the ones that did not follow this norm. Especially one piece that decided to put a huge branching tree right in the middle of the page, symmetrically, and used the ocean as the land. These pieces that broke the traditional norm of portraying trees, to me, were trying to express the importance of trees, in the way they give us life. Trees are not just background; they play a vital role in our life."


Three students in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture class at Cornell respond to these benches, re-purposed by Cornell professor Jack Elliott and included in the exhibition Trees & Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum.

Catherine Ma:
"My favorite piece in the tree exhibition is The Van Rose Benches by Jack Elliot.  This piece is representative of how art comes in different forms.  I am for environmental sustainability and so I like how Professor Elliot decided to save this tree when there was major construction going on.  I like the symmetry in which the roots of the tree are the ends of the benches and how the quality of the tree is preserved.  Even though he made everything smooth so that it is comfortable to sit on, you can see the lines and rings in the bench and feel the roughness of the bark at the roots.  This piece is the most fun one in the exhibition because you can touch and sit on it while you can’t do that with the other pieces.  I love that it is art and a piece of furniture at the same time.  When I saw this piece, it kind of made me think about my final project for my art of horticulture class because I’m making a chair also.  I was going to make it with tree branches but then I decided to change it to cardboard, but now seeing the benches has inspired me to go back to my original idea.".
Anonymous:
"Out of all the art pieces in the tree exhibit, I liked the tree bench the most. Unlike the rest of the pieces, visitors were allowed to touch the bench and sit on it. The bench’s interior and exterior are very smooth. The bench is rather large and heavy, and it makes me wonder how long it took to make. Apart from its appearance and functionality, I like the bench because it has a story behind it. Several decades ago, the tree stood by the Human Ecology School, and it had to be cut down due to construction. Instead of using the tree for firewood, a professor and his students built a tree bench. I’d like to see more artwork like the tree bench in the future."
.
Anonymous:
"A piece in the exhibit that really caught my attention was the Vanrose Benches, created by Jack Elliot. What I really liked about this piece, which was constructed from an actual maple tree that used to stand in front of the Human Ecology building, was the fact that unlike the other artwork, it was one that could be fully appreciated. I liked that along with viewing the piece, I could actually sit on the bench and feel the woodwork, therefore utilizing more of my senses. This allowed me to gain a deeper perspective. I also loved the effect the roots of the tree had on the piece. Including these roots gave the work a very organic look, making it really stand out from a typical bench that could have been put in its’ place. When looking at the benches, I got a feeling of rejuvenation and renewal. Although this maple tree was cut down and could have been viewed as something dead, I felt that Elliot’s creation of the bench from the cut tree gave it the opposite effect and made it into something really beautiful."


Three students in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture class at Cornell respond to these benches, re-purposed by Cornell professor Jack Elliott and included in the exhibition Trees & Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum.

Catherine Ma:

"My favorite piece in the tree exhibition is The Van Rose Benches by Jack Elliot.  This piece is representative of how art comes in different forms.  I am for environmental sustainability and so I like how Professor Elliot decided to save this tree when there was major construction going on.  I like the symmetry in which the roots of the tree are the ends of the benches and how the quality of the tree is preserved.  Even though he made everything smooth so that it is comfortable to sit on, you can see the lines and rings in the bench and feel the roughness of the bark at the roots.  This piece is the most fun one in the exhibition because you can touch and sit on it while you can’t do that with the other pieces.  I love that it is art and a piece of furniture at the same time.  When I saw this piece, it kind of made me think about my final project for my art of horticulture class because I’m making a chair also.  I was going to make it with tree branches but then I decided to change it to cardboard, but now seeing the benches has inspired me to go back to my original idea."
.

Anonymous:

"Out of all the art pieces in the tree exhibit, I liked the tree bench the most. Unlike the rest of the pieces, visitors were allowed to touch the bench and sit on it. The bench’s interior and exterior are very smooth. The bench is rather large and heavy, and it makes me wonder how long it took to make. Apart from its appearance and functionality, I like the bench because it has a story behind it. Several decades ago, the tree stood by the Human Ecology School, and it had to be cut down due to construction. Instead of using the tree for firewood, a professor and his students built a tree bench. I’d like to see more artwork like the tree bench in the future."

.

Anonymous:

"A piece in the exhibit that really caught my attention was the Vanrose Benches, created by Jack Elliot. What I really liked about this piece, which was constructed from an actual maple tree that used to stand in front of the Human Ecology building, was the fact that unlike the other artwork, it was one that could be fully appreciated. I liked that along with viewing the piece, I could actually sit on the bench and feel the woodwork, therefore utilizing more of my senses. This allowed me to gain a deeper perspective. I also loved the effect the roots of the tree had on the piece. Including these roots gave the work a very organic look, making it really stand out from a typical bench that could have been put in its’ place. When looking at the benches, I got a feeling of rejuvenation and renewal. Although this maple tree was cut down and could have been viewed as something dead, I felt that Elliot’s creation of the bench from the cut tree gave it the opposite effect and made it into something really beautiful."

Mark Iwinski (b. 1960)
Fossil N42 26.903’ W 76 28.886’ Elevation 650’ to within 21’, 2004

Woodblock ink on handmade Iwano Kozo paper.

Kirsten B. Sauer, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture class at Cornell, responds to this work of art in the exhibition Trees & Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum:"The size of the stump in this print struck me. The diameter appears to be over 5 feet and the number of rings indicate that it is over 200 years old. The trees rings tell a strong about the environment that it grew in; the thinner rings indicate years with drought or colder temperatures while the fatter rings indicate ample rainfall and warmer temperatures. Even though this tree was cut down, the print of its stump will allow it to be immortalized. When an old tree dies or is cut down it is a sad event. The pieces in the Trees gallery, especially this piece, help us to remember the trees and forests that may not survive our lifetime. Also, trees connect us to the past. Trees have been the subjects of paintings and drawings since humans started making art. Society has changed so much but a beautiful painting of a tree still brings people back to a familiar and comforting place. The print of the giant stump is a beautiful and striking way to memorialize a tree that no longer exists, and I think it represents one of the major themes of preservation of the collection."

.

Kimberly Eng, also a student in the class, responds to the same piece:

"Mark Iwinski’s "Fossil" piece caused me to reflect on my sense of time and its relation to nature.  He wrote, "stumps mark the intersection of the forest and history. They are signs embodying the brutal ravaging of the landscape".  The forest is an ever-changing, perpetually ongoing cycle of life and death; a stump, the mark of human intervention, imposes an abrupt stop to this chain of events.  The stump marks a point in history.  To differentiate ‘forest’ and ‘history’ is an interesting concept because one would think that, because time facilitates the evolution of both and thus connects the two, the passage of time is occurs at different rates and is measured differently between the two.  Time progresses continually and without pause in a forest.  History, on the other hand, is marked by big events and small events, creating points and periods of time, separating time into pieces and chunks. "I also noted how Iwinski alluded to the invisibility, or hidden qualities of the stump.  Iwinski’s prints "are traces of a landscape lost to us. They mark an often unnoticed record of our environment and natural history".  In today’s culture that prioritizes and values technology and speed, we find ourselves very distant from the natural world.  Even when it is disappearing or has come under harm, as evidenced by the stump, we do not notice.  Because of the stump’s relationship to time and history, we are thus ignorant of certain aspects of time that relate to nature and natural processes.  Although humans may be the ones who create the stump, ‘we’ as a human whole are not aware of the large scale of destruction and erasure of natural bodies such as the forest."The wood cut, at first glance, was aesthetically pleasing.  It was astonishing to note the age of the tree from which the image originates.  Yet after reading the artist’s statement and his intention, one approaches and looks at the print in an entirely new light.  Iwinski’s idea to use wood to reflect time intrigued me.  Wood has the intrinsic ability to show time because it is a living object, yet Iwinski also touched upon the implications of human intervention and how they play a role in facilitating this investigation of time and wood."

Mark Iwinski (b. 1960)

Fossil N42 26.903’ W 76 28.886’ Elevation 650’ to within 21’, 2004

Woodblock ink on handmade Iwano Kozo paper
.

Kirsten B. Sauer, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture class at Cornell, responds to this work of art in the exhibition Trees & Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum:
"The size of the stump in this print struck me. The diameter appears to be over 5 feet and the number of rings indicate that it is over 200 years old. The trees rings tell a strong about the environment that it grew in; the thinner rings indicate years with drought or colder temperatures while the fatter rings indicate ample rainfall and warmer temperatures. Even though this tree was cut down, the print of its stump will allow it to be immortalized. When an old tree dies or is cut down it is a sad event. The pieces in the Trees gallery, especially this piece, help us to remember the trees and forests that may not survive our lifetime. Also, trees connect us to the past. Trees have been the subjects of paintings and drawings since humans started making art. Society has changed so much but a beautiful painting of a tree still brings people back to a familiar and comforting place. The print of the giant stump is a beautiful and striking way to memorialize a tree that no longer exists, and I think it represents one of the major themes of preservation of the collection."

.

Kimberly Eng, also a student in the class, responds to the same piece:

"Mark Iwinski’s "Fossil" piece caused me to reflect on my sense of time and its relation to nature.  He wrote, "stumps mark the intersection of the forest and history. They are signs embodying the brutal ravaging of the landscape".  The forest is an ever-changing, perpetually ongoing cycle of life and death; a stump, the mark of human intervention, imposes an abrupt stop to this chain of events.  The stump marks a point in history.  To differentiate ‘forest’ and ‘history’ is an interesting concept because one would think that, because time facilitates the evolution of both and thus connects the two, the passage of time is occurs at different rates and is measured differently between the two.  Time progresses continually and without pause in a forest.  History, on the other hand, is marked by big events and small events, creating points and periods of time, separating time into pieces and chunks.

"I also noted how Iwinski alluded to the invisibility, or hidden qualities of the stump.  Iwinski’s prints "are traces of a landscape lost to us. They mark an often unnoticed record of our environment and natural history".  In today’s culture that prioritizes and values technology and speed, we find ourselves very distant from the natural world.  Even when it is disappearing or has come under harm, as evidenced by the stump, we do not notice.  Because of the stump’s relationship to time and history, we are thus ignorant of certain aspects of time that relate to nature and natural processes.  Although humans may be the ones who create the stump, ‘we’ as a human whole are not aware of the large scale of destruction and erasure of natural bodies such as the forest.

"The wood cut, at first glance, was aesthetically pleasing.  It was astonishing to note the age of the tree from which the image originates.  Yet after reading the artist’s statement and his intention, one approaches and looks at the print in an entirely new light.  Iwinski’s idea to use wood to reflect time intrigued me.  Wood has the intrinsic ability to show time because it is a living object, yet Iwinski also touched upon the implications of human intervention and how they play a role in facilitating this investigation of time and wood."

Christopher Wright
Burial Tree (2006) 
5x4” Barium Chloride Salted Paper print from dry-waxed paper Calotype.  
During the month of January, 2006, I was visiting with my brother and his family in Gainesville Fl, when the family dog, an ancient poodle, spent an entire morning lying on my lap, slowly dying.  After the sorrowful ordeal, the family had a little ceremony and then buried the animal in a shoe box at the foot of a tree in the back yard.  After everyone else had gone indoors, I set up a 4x5” glass plate camera (from 1890) which I had fitted out for making Calotypes, and opened the shutter for a ten-minute exposure.  Because it was late afternoon, the sky was totally overcast, gray with no sunshine whatsoever.  There were no shadows because of the lack of ambient direct lighting, yet imagine my surprise when, after developing the negative, there was a large patch of white on the tree bark.  I have been of the belief that, because of the required length of exposure for this medium, the calotype has the potential of capturing the actual movement of time itself, and, in this case, recorded the movement of the spirit of the dog as it travelled up the tree to return to the formlessness from whence it came.  
In several of the so-called “Gnostic Gospels,” there are discussions of where people go when they die, to which the Master replies that all form returns to its “root,” which is to say, all form returns to formlessness, which is the nature of things before and after they have taken on the physical forms we experience with our senses.  In this image, we see the spirit returning, through the channel of the tree under which she is buried, to it’s “root.”

Christopher Wright

Burial Tree (2006) 

5x4” Barium Chloride Salted Paper print from dry-waxed paper Calotype.  

During the month of January, 2006, I was visiting with my brother and his family in Gainesville Fl, when the family dog, an ancient poodle, spent an entire morning lying on my lap, slowly dying.  After the sorrowful ordeal, the family had a little ceremony and then buried the animal in a shoe box at the foot of a tree in the back yard.  After everyone else had gone indoors, I set up a 4x5” glass plate camera (from 1890) which I had fitted out for making Calotypes, and opened the shutter for a ten-minute exposure.  Because it was late afternoon, the sky was totally overcast, gray with no sunshine whatsoever.  There were no shadows because of the lack of ambient direct lighting, yet imagine my surprise when, after developing the negative, there was a large patch of white on the tree bark.  I have been of the belief that, because of the required length of exposure for this medium, the calotype has the potential of capturing the actual movement of time itself, and, in this case, recorded the movement of the spirit of the dog as it travelled up the tree to return to the formlessness from whence it came. 

In several of the so-called “Gnostic Gospels,” there are discussions of where people go when they die, to which the Master replies that all form returns to its “root,” which is to say, all form returns to formlessness, which is the nature of things before and after they have taken on the physical forms we experience with our senses.  In this image, we see the spirit returning, through the channel of the tree under which she is buried, to it’s “root.”

Christopher Wright
Resurrection (1988)
Selenium-toned fiber-based silver gelatin print, contact printed from 10x8” orthochromatic film negative.
During the 1980’s, I lived with my family in an old farmhouse on top of Bluff Point, a rural area about 10 miles south of Penn Yan, NY.  We heated the rambling 15-room house with wood, and for this one year, a farmer had brought a large truckload which included at the bottom a quantity of roots and branches from trees which must have been ancient when they were cut down years before.  The farmer knew that I was an artist, so he had included a number of pieces which he thought I might find “interesting.”  This particular piece immediately caught my attention, as it made me think of a dancing figure with a flowing cape.  Late one afternoon in January, as the sun was setting, I set this tree root up against a background of black velvet, with the evening sunlight highlighting it’s shape.  I used orthochromatic film, which is red-sensitive, because I knew that the light of sunset is rich in red and has the potential of increasing the density and contrast of the otherwise flat gray wood piece.  Stretching the bellows of my Kodak 2D 8x10” view camera to nearly two feet and stopping the Gundlach-Manhattan Perigraphic triple convertible lens to an approximate f256, I opened the shutter for approximately ten minutes.  One could almost hear the light etching itself on the film, capturing the motions of this wood piece’s last opportunity to dance, to express it’s natural energies, before it was to be consigned to the woodstove.  Here again, a long exposure on an appropriate film-type gave me the opportunity to witness the energies latent in everything I am blessed to witness.  The title ‘Resurrection’ celebrates the energy of this little piece of root, once so important to a great tree and now reduced to a ‘last dance’.

Christopher Wright

Resurrection (1988)

Selenium-toned fiber-based silver gelatin print, contact printed from 10x8” orthochromatic film negative.

During the 1980’s, I lived with my family in an old farmhouse on top of Bluff Point, a rural area about 10 miles south of Penn Yan, NY.  We heated the rambling 15-room house with wood, and for this one year, a farmer had brought a large truckload which included at the bottom a quantity of roots and branches from trees which must have been ancient when they were cut down years before.  The farmer knew that I was an artist, so he had included a number of pieces which he thought I might find “interesting.”  This particular piece immediately caught my attention, as it made me think of a dancing figure with a flowing cape.  Late one afternoon in January, as the sun was setting, I set this tree root up against a background of black velvet, with the evening sunlight highlighting it’s shape.  I used orthochromatic film, which is red-sensitive, because I knew that the light of sunset is rich in red and has the potential of increasing the density and contrast of the otherwise flat gray wood piece.  Stretching the bellows of my Kodak 2D 8x10” view camera to nearly two feet and stopping the Gundlach-Manhattan Perigraphic triple convertible lens to an approximate f256, I opened the shutter for approximately ten minutes.  One could almost hear the light etching itself on the film, capturing the motions of this wood piece’s last opportunity to dance, to express it’s natural energies, before it was to be consigned to the woodstove.  Here again, a long exposure on an appropriate film-type gave me the opportunity to witness the energies latent in everything I am blessed to witness.  The title ‘Resurrection’ celebrates the energy of this little piece of root, once so important to a great tree and now reduced to a ‘last dance’.

Battery Park in New York City on Labor Day 2010 
"The willow by nature is wistful; I think this image of the tree and its shadow captures that spirit."- Gratia Williams Nakahashi

Battery Park in New York City on Labor Day 2010 

"The willow by nature is wistful; I think this image of the tree and its shadow captures that spirit."

- Gratia Williams Nakahashi

Ansel Adams (1902-1984)
Redwoods, Bull Creek Flat, Northern California, ca. 1960
Gelatin silver print

Anne Hawkins, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture class at Cornell, responds to this work of art in the exhibition Trees & Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum:"I grew up in Northern California, so redwood trees have always been a part of my life and my surroundings. The great redwoods of Marin County are something really precious and special to where I am from and I was so glad to see them represented in the exhibit An Introduction to Trees and Other Ramifications: Branches in Nature and Culture. I think the way that Ansel Adams captures these magnificent trees is wonderful. The picture gives a sense of the magnitude of these trees. The starkness of the black and white gives a sense of drama to the scene, contrasting the great trees against the darkness of the background. I feel the black and white quality also helps exemplify the texture of the bark of the trees and the delicate leaves wrapping their way around the trees, climbing upwards. I love how this pictures shows how the redwood trees soar above the rest of the vegetation surrounding them, reaching for the sky. I am so glad that this photo was in the exhibit to share with Cornell the beauty of where I am from."

Ansel Adams (1902-1984)

Redwoods, Bull Creek Flat, Northern California, ca. 1960

Gelatin silver print

Anne Hawkins, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture
class at Cornell, responds to this work of art in the exhibition Trees &
Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum:
"I grew up in Northern California, so redwood trees have always been a part of my life and my surroundings. The great redwoods of Marin County are something really precious and special to where I am from and I was so glad to see them represented in the exhibit An Introduction to Trees and Other Ramifications: Branches in Nature and Culture. I think the way that Ansel Adams captures these magnificent trees is wonderful. The picture gives a sense of the magnitude of these trees. The starkness of the black and white gives a sense of drama to the scene, contrasting the great trees against the darkness of the background. I feel the black and white quality also helps exemplify the texture of the bark of the trees and the delicate leaves wrapping their way around the trees, climbing upwards. I love how this pictures shows how the redwood trees soar above the rest of the vegetation surrounding them, reaching for the sky. I am so glad that this photo was in the exhibit to share with Cornell the beauty of where I am from."

"When I was about ten years old, I was asked to read a poem that I liked in school.  At some point in my young life I had read the poem Trees by Joyce Kilmer, and it became the love of my life in poetry.  And it has lasted for 78 more years.  Googling Joyce Kilmer’s life is so interesting; and after all these years, I found that Joyce Kilmer was a man.  I say was since Joyce Kilmer’s life lasted from 1886 to 1918.”
 
Trees
by Joyce Kilmer
 
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
 
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
 
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
 
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
 
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
 
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
 
 
- Submitted by Helen T. Lasher
 
 

William Sharp (1749-1824)Lily Leaf, 1854 Color LithographChelsea Mak, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of  Horticulture class at Cornell, responds to this work of art in the  exhibition Trees & Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson  Museum: “If you were to divide Sharp’s 18 inch diameter lily leaf 8 times in  half, you’d be left with 1/256th of the leaf, and maybe a square of 1.5  inches x 1.5 inches.  Within that section - remember, it’s roughtly only  1/256th of the total leaf!- you’ll discover amazing detail.  As I stare  intently, trying to absorb the shading on the tiny veins, the shadows  created by the subtle contours on the leaf, I’m amazed.  Comparing the  curvature of the neighboring veins, I notice each is unique and that  Sharp has paid individual attention.  It is truly the detail of this  piece that captivates me and I’m full of admiration of the artist’s  patience and devotion to its creation.”

William Sharp (1749-1824)
Lily Leaf, 1854
Color Lithograph

Chelsea Mak, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture class at Cornell, responds to this work of art in the exhibition Trees & Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum:
“If you were to divide Sharp’s 18 inch diameter lily leaf 8 times in half, you’d be left with 1/256th of the leaf, and maybe a square of 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches.  Within that section - remember, it’s roughtly only 1/256th of the total leaf!- you’ll discover amazing detail.  As I stare intently, trying to absorb the shading on the tiny veins, the shadows created by the subtle contours on the leaf, I’m amazed.  Comparing the curvature of the neighboring veins, I notice each is unique and that Sharp has paid individual attention.  It is truly the detail of this piece that captivates me and I’m full of admiration of the artist’s patience and devotion to its creation.”

Yellow-breasted Bowerbird
Courtship bower constructed of stems from the Yar tree. Collected near Akameku village, Bismarck Range, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, 2008

Gail Malone, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture class at Cornell, responds to this work of art in the exhibition Trees & Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum:
"The nest of the Bowerbird was my favorite piece, because of the identity of the artist. Upon first inspecting it, I thought that a person had created it, due to the care and detail that was so evident in the structure. I loved that an actual Bowerbird had constructed it in nature, since the large nests are used to show the “artist’s” fitness and to attract mates. There was an incredible show of symmetry, texture, layering, and depth that the Bowerbird must have taken weeks to create. Although humans do not necessarily build houses to attract a mate, I was reminded of the time and labor spent in my youth to build tree forts with friends. My forts never had the detail that the Bowerbird’s nest has, but they were always a quiet refuge that blended into the forest and could be shared with others. The Bowerbird does a commendable job of crafting such a natural and alluring refuge for his mate."

Yellow-breasted Bowerbird

Courtship bower constructed of stems from the Yar tree. Collected near Akameku village, Bismarck Range, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, 2008

Gail Malone, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture
class at Cornell, responds to this work of art in the exhibition Trees &
Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum:

"The nest of the Bowerbird was my favorite piece, because of the identity of the artist. Upon first inspecting it, I thought that a person had created it, due to the care and detail that was so evident in the structure. I loved that an actual Bowerbird had constructed it in nature, since the large nests are used to show the “artist’s” fitness and to attract mates. There was an incredible show of symmetry, texture, layering, and depth that the Bowerbird must have taken weeks to create. Although humans do not necessarily build houses to attract a mate, I was reminded of the time and labor spent in my youth to build tree forts with friends. My forts never had the detail that the Bowerbird’s nest has, but they were always a quiet refuge that blended into the forest and could be shared with others. The Bowerbird does a commendable job of crafting such a natural and alluring refuge for his mate."

Image not available.

Francois Houtin (b. 1950)

Abecedaire, 2004

Etching

Katherine Walden, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture
class at Cornell, responds to this work of art in the exhibition Trees &
Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum:

"A piece that I was drawn to in the tree exhibit is "Abecedair" by Francois Houtin, which depicts the letters of the alphabet formed by plants and trees. My favorite aspect of the piece is Houtin’s whimsical style which is not only demonstrated through his child-like theme but by the way he drew the plants as twisted and out of proportionl. From far away it is easy to decipher the letters of the alphabet, but upon closer inspection the incredible detail makes each is a mini-masterpiece, and one enters an entirely different work or art. I was impressed most by the finery of the piece and the style combination of realism and fantasy, and also the use of wood as the canvas, which creates an even stronger connection between the art and nature."

Pok Chi Lau (b. 1950)
Tree Farm, Zibo, Shantung Province, China, 2004
Ink jet print

Anna Denis-Rohr, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture class at Cornell, responds to this work of art in the exhibition Trees & Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum: "The picture print, ‘Tree Farm’ by Pok Chi Lau is a startling yet intriguing image of a planted forest in present day China.   This image is unlike any typical forest we would picture.  Devoid of green, the brown bark of the leafless trees and barren ground dominates the image.  This scene would be upsetting enough if it were just a tree farm that was seemingly dead.  But the second thing which catches your attention is the color, not from naturel as you would expect but from plastic bags.   Hundreds of bags litter the forest floor and this ominous image seems to foreshadow what the entire world might look like one day.   It is very frightening to consider a planet like this tree farm, one dominated by trash.  Pok Chi Lau reminds us with this image that this is already happening and we must fight to preserve our forests, ones that are covered in grass and moss, not plastic."

Pok Chi Lau (b. 1950)

Tree Farm, Zibo, Shantung Province, China, 2004

Ink jet print

Anna Denis-Rohr, a student in Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture class at Cornell, responds to this work of art in the exhibition Trees & Other Ramifications, now on view at the Johnson Museum: 
"The picture print, ‘Tree Farm’ by Pok Chi Lau is a startling yet intriguing image of a planted forest in present day China.   This image is unlike any typical forest we would picture.  Devoid of green, the brown bark of the leafless trees and barren ground dominates the image.  This scene would be upsetting enough if it were just a tree farm that was seemingly dead.  But the second thing which catches your attention is the color, not from naturel as you would expect but from plastic bags.   Hundreds of bags litter the forest floor and this ominous image seems to foreshadow what the entire world might look like one day.   It is very frightening to consider a planet like this tree farm, one dominated by trash.  Pok Chi Lau reminds us with this image that this is already happening and we must fight to preserve our forests, ones that are covered in grass and moss, not plastic."


"Here is a group of trees below Willard Straight looking south from Uris Library.  The image uses a simulated ‘tilt shift’."
- Craig Cramer, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University

"Here is a group of trees below Willard Straight looking south from Uris Library.  The image uses a simulated ‘tilt shift’."

- Craig Cramer, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University