Gathering Shadows tells the story of the ash tree.

Using large blocks of solid ash, three humanoid figures appear as sentries, witnesses to this story.

The blocks were crudely cut with a chainsaw, then oil painted. The chainsaw markings were intentional, representing man’s aggressive and gluttonous misuse of our natural resources. The images attract through scale and color, chronicling the ash tree in the natural world as well as demonstrating man’s impact. The ash plays strongly in Celtic and Norse mythology as The World Tree and the Tree of Life and how the ash bridges the three worlds – underworld, middle earth, and spiritual realm. Butterfly joints are used to reflect man’s craftsmanship and utilization. And, of course, the Emerald Ash Borer is prominently present given its devastating impact. The triptych gives one a sense of family and community which draws us personally into this dynamic, their mass emphasizing the gravity of the story.

And along with these truths – beauty, construction, destruction, rejuvenation… man’s culpability is exposed. Once again, as we pull on the string of our environment we find no surprises that everything is connected. And once again we continue to embrace capitalism as our higher power at the risk of all else including our own well-being.

Gathering Shadows debuted at the group show Phoenix from the Ashes, Overture Center, Madison, WI 8/2016

20” x 20” x 5’, 4’, 3’