Erika Osborne - Artist
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Wood Work
We use wood for nearly everything - to build our homes and our furniture, to keep us warm in winter and on cold nights around the campfire. We use it to make paper, grapestakes, fences, matchsticks, grocery bags, cardboard...and the list goes on. Yet, wood can also give us insight into a past that stretches far beyond our own histories. Each piece of wood tells a story, recording time and events in the form of scars, weathering and growth. The marks and rings of the Hunting Stump, a nearly 3,000-year-old giant sequoia, chronicle drought, fire, earthquakes, pestilence, and conclusively, human penetration in the form of a logging operation aimed at the manufacturing of grape stakes and matchsticks. The cross-section of Douglas Fir, depicted in Portrait of a Survivor, relays a saga of human contact through its bark peel scars, bullet hole wound, and finally its death as a victim of a fire-thinning project. The stumps of the Bear Springs timber sale tell their own story, as does the wood used for fire in the Gila Wilderness - the latter, speaking through its incarnation as a charcoal drawing. This body of work is an attempt to recognize the vital, utilitarian role wood plays in our existence, while at the same time, paying homage to the lives and stories of these trees.
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