Seeing-Trees; Memory, Re-planting and Re-gifting
by Barbara Tyroler

project STATEMENT

“You and the tree in your backyard come from a common ancestor,” is a quote from Richard Powers’ The Overstory, spoken by Maidenhair from her perch in the canopy of Mimas—a tree hundreds of feet above ground and half a million days old.

As an educator, artist, and photographer, I have a lifelong love of portraiture as a means for constructing memories—rendering the figure as art within the landscape. The results may be an allegorical display or a remembrance in context, but always dynamic and interactive in approach and design. I see trees as markers of the passage of time. Their branches and limbs embrace the memory of all who have leaned against their trunks, sheltered beneath their branches, or engaged in reverie amid the shadows of their dancing leaves.

I have come to appreciate trees as the stewards of nature—preserving the gifts that nature offers—planting seedlings, protecting groves, conveying the stories in which these living beings figure as backdrop or presence. My own stewardship is also about planting and re-planting a gifting of images and archives for sharing, creating, and preserving memories.

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