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Project Information

This sculpture has a very long story, but it really speaks for itself.
This is a self portrait of me screaming as a honey locust tree.

They were going to chop down the Honey Locust trees in our courtyard. These are majestic and beautiful trees right outside our third floor condo. The real reason we bought this place was for the feeling of being away from the world and in the tree top of a forest. They are home to squirrels and finches, robins and cardinals, bats, fireflys and cicadas. The leaves turn this amazing yellow in the fall and shimmer in the sun after a short summer rain. I love these trees.. and could not believe that they were "unhealthy and needed to be removed." A condo wide building war ensued and we are a bunch of very smart people… science, poetry, sound logic, history, and aesthetics for resale… the resolution was to remove 30% of the top foliage for more light to reach the lower units. The trees are still there and very healthy and happy.

This was early in my woodworking and I had just started to learn about wood, trees, and forest ecology. Researching everything about Honey Locust trees was my first tree obsession. I became friends with Arborists and Forestry specialists. due to this tree. I learned so much, that it later dawned on me that I am very much like a Honey Locust tree. Cultured into city life the once Thorny Locust, lost it's need for thick defensive thorns to ward off deer and other animals after the leaves and soft twigs…. and became the peaceful and city dwelling Honey Locust.

But remove 50% of their canopy and they still sprout enormous thorns. Hit them with a car.. thorns. Poison = thorns, disease = thorns. A lovely tree which I can completely relate to.

I am one of those people who easily smiles, whistles while walking, and seems to just love life. Inside I held a deep anger at the world of humans… a great disappointment of the things people do and say to one another. People are absolutely horrible to each other. Its was a fear that has lead me into uncontrolled violence and the need to run away and hide, even to extreme measures. It held me back from happiness and success in my career. I am happy to not be at that place anymore and can use my art and talent to express and create what I want. So this is my inner anger rendered in complete botanical detail of a Honey Locust tree.. only in white gesso, grey graphite, and bloodwood leaves (blood red instead of light green or yellow)

Materials:
~ Honey locust branches and thorns
~ Honey locust wood base ~ steam bent
~ Hydrocal Plaster and canvas soaked in wall sculpting plaster
~ 1,150 Bloodwood leaves (each is five pieces of veneer) and white wire wrapping
~ White Gesso and Graphite

I am also proud that it is being featured in the soon to be released music video "One Time Offer" by Pound of Flesh.
And will be on display at the Oak Park Arts League Nov 14-Dec 5.

Gallery

Comments

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2,220 Posts
Wonderfully done, and the story behind it is just as marvelous.
Great piece of expressive art.
 

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1,624 Posts
This is the finest use of a honey locust tree that I have ever seen.
Roger
 

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2,010 Posts
Very well done Sir.
 

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872 Posts
Nice job Eric! I too like the honey locust. Being involved in approximately 40 Forestry Management Plans with IL landowners, I always stressed the importance of the honey locust as a Winter food source for the wildlife. Many landowners wanted to cull these trees until they learned of the benefits.
 

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1,201 Posts
wow, that is amazing, great job
 

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961 Posts
Really cool mix of tree and and sculpture. I shared your story with my wife too.
 

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542 Posts
A beautiful piece. Well done
 

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1,861 Posts
wow, amazing job!
 

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11,989 Posts
Very impressive and so cool : ) I'm sure different lighting could make it look pretty scary.
 

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3,748 Posts
A very "honest" and intimidating piece. I am not easily attracted to intimidating art, but, I do like it and I especially like the story within.
 

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25,671 Posts
Awesome work! Definitely out of the box ;-)
 

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15,066 Posts
A magnificent piece of art and a great story to go with it! You didn't mention the beautiful flower clusters with the amazing fragrance in the spring.
 

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3,571 Posts
All I can add it WOW!
 

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3,818 Posts
That thing is terrifying and very impressive, nice job. The bloodwood leaves are really nice.
 

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2,414 Posts
Oh my gosh Eric, this is absolutely spectacular!
 

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1,021 Posts
Fantastic, it is a really great sculpture and a wonderful story. compliments!
 

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3,567 Posts
That's 1 more for my "Damn, I wish I made that " list.
 
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