These pieces are layered in intent, meaning, materials, process. The initial seed was a moment spent with a stump. The stump, or what’s left of it, shows the nature of roots, especially cedar roots – and the way they flow and wrap around boulders, embracing the obstacle.
I photographed the roots, drew the roots, and then poured ink and water over the drawing. Meanwhile the Rough fire was burning – a 150,000 acre fire that has yet to be fully contained. The fire consumed a huge part of Kings Canyon. The Rough fire didn’t get a lot of press because no human structures were damaged. It destroyed raw nature. Fire is normal in the Sierras – lightning causes most of the wildfires in California. But wildfires in a drought year can be devastating.
The Sierras are showing visible signs of drought. There are swaths of dying pines – drought-weakened trees now taken down by pine beetle. There has been another such cycle in my lifetime – in the 70’s – and the forest recovered. But underneath the forest now the water table has dropped dramatically. Now, in heavily burned areas like Kings Canyon, the predicted heavy rains will wash away topsoil and forest recovery will be impacted further.
Roots are the hidden story of trees. Ground water is the hidden story about water health. Topsoil is the hidden story about forest health. There will always be fire, flood, and recovery. How do we understand cycles and stories and be integrated within our home?