NATURAL HISTORY (Unpublished text)
Unpublished 2001

Natural History is one of a series of sculptures made by myself that in some way use the form of a book as a central motif. Sometimes the book is used singly and sometimes, as in this instance, as a form of building block. For me the book symbolises many things, but most importantly the accumulated knowledge of the world i.e. History

In the sculpture Natural History a tree is made as though from some found branches [maybe the last surviving branches or found fossilised branches] that have sparked a memory in the maker of the form of a tree, a plant possibly long lost to that civilisation. And the makers only available materials to complete the tree are books, which are stacked up to make the trunk of the tree, thus ironically returning the books to an image of their original base material - wood. The branches, crudely bound to the trunk by rope, complete the stark attempt to recreate a tree. This optimistic but perhaps bleak gesture of trying to improve ones environment is softened and made playful by the almost invisible dripping of water from the tips of the branches onto passers-by below.

The dripping water is maybe reminiscent of tears and of passing time but also a reminder of a positive life force that has a will to reinvent and continue.


Text © Bill Woodrow, London, 2001

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