Forest in the Trees Exhibit

Sat hours: Closed
The Forest in the Trees
Jon-Erik Jardine
Gallery 3 (Wilson 3, East)

Artist Statement

"Trees surround us, but rarely do we spend time truly amongst them. The density of forest and the high production of biomass within our local area is one of the defining aspects of this place we call home. These forests are a home to many other organisms as well, small and large, as humans are but one part of a greater forest of life. This is a major aspect of my studies as a student, as I have looked at the psychological and sociological effects of forming deep and meaningful connections with nature. As an artist, I have expressed the emotional frustration and contradiction of trying to connect. This piece expresses a sort of severed relationship that exists within my mind and daily practice of life; how I wish nothing greater than to relate personally and collectively with life beyond just humans. By returning the “forest” to the “trees” in this piece, I am symbolically representing my own backwards struggle to connect.
These photographs are a tribute to our forests, and to our living, breathing planet. By using the natural resource of wood as the medium for displaying my forest-in-motion photos, I am exploring creative ways to share and connect to an ancient relationship between humans and the rest of nature. I often think that in order to have a connection to nature, I must be actively participating in some practical skills or knowledge pertaining to the “great outdoors”. This is but one way to form a relationship to nature, and as I am learning, a sense of connection or relating to something usually starts with a set of feelings or emotions. By displaying these photos, I am hoping to invoke these simple yet profound human responses we call emotions.
I am also exploring the concept of motion and movement. Motion is a key aspect of being human and of being an animal. We are fascinating creatures just in all the ways we move, as well as the ways movement has helped us settle into every corner of the earth. Specific to the photos, I am exploring the visual appeal of motion within a single frame. I am interested in how these photos may appeal to others. What is one’s somatic experience while viewing these photos? Is there some deeper connection triggered by viewing the blurred photos of trees? Was this once a common experience that may have existed in our ancient past?
Each piece was captured with a Nikon D200 while I was in motion. I then transferred each printed photo to blocks of cedar I salvaged, leftover from a Story Pole which can be found in the Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher building."

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Jon-Erik Jardine