"I like the idea that the piece takes the interior gallery wall, where you might see an image of nature on it, and instead places it in the tree itself where its flat plane and white wall sets off the amazing branches, leaves, and shadows created by the moving sunlight. "
- Letha Wilson
"Wall in Blue Ash Tree", 2011, installed at the Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL.
One of Letha Wilson's latest works is a piece that is slowly changing as the summer heightens, and fades into fall.. The work is a site specific piece at Morton Arboretum and will be ongoing until late November, when winter creeps in. She has built a wall, bringing indoors into outdoors, and back around into a full circle.
Letha Wilson: For this piece I have built an interior wall inside and alongside this Blue Ash Tree at the Morton Arboretum. This is second piece along these lines I have created, yet the most ambitious and the largest scale work thus far. First the frame of the wall was built with wood studs, resting on the ground close to the trunk of the tree. The structure was built as level as possible. The frame was overbuilt with many cross beams and in such as way that the tree itself has not been punctured at all by any screws or even any straps. This network of wood studs is on view from the back side of the piece, as it is open on that side. The front I then faced with ordinary interior drywall, and built as you would an interior wall around pipes.
I like the idea that the piece takes the interior gallery wall, where you might see an image of nature on it, and instead places it in the tree itself where its flat plane and white wall sets off the amazing branches, leaves, and shadows created by the moving sunlight. I have created several pieces using drywall outdoors and it is surprisingly resilient. Plus I like that the drywall will succumb to the movement of the branches, and will deteriorate a bit over the duration of the show. The wall faces almost due west so from about 12:30 on the sun casts shadows on the wall from the tree limbs and leaves. This particular tree is fairly late to leaf out, so the piece will change considerably throughout the season.
"The Morton Arboretum brings together local, national, and international artists for an extraordinary outdoor exhibition. These artists will draw inspiration from our tree-filled landscapes to create an unprecedented collection of sculptures."
Actual Size (collaborative team of Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades), Wisconsin Juan Angel Chávez, Chicago Joan Giroux, Chicago Carol Hummel, Ohio Larry King, North Carolina (originally from Glen Ellyn) Philippa Lawrence, Bristol Régine Lehmann, France Thomas Matsuda, Massachusetts Letha Wilson, New York You Are Beautiful (anonymous collective), Chicago Theodoros Zafeiropoulos, Greece
go to Letha Projects here...
photo credit: Tom Van Eynde