The tree has become an important symbol as the diminishing returns of earth draw an ecological picture that shows our historical rape and pillage of the mighty forests as part and parcel of the present demise. The ozone is weakened but even sadder, the wonder at the grand old-growth tree where generations are recorded in the widening circumferences that make up the trunk is becoming a rare experience. It is little surprise that with the simpatico that humanity has with the tree, the tree could be depicted in such a way as to display characteristics that resemble humans.
Mary Hrbacek brings trees from
the botanical into the human plane as she vests them with characterizations
that veer on definitive personalities. She grants the gnarled barky elders
or the young nubile budding trees a combination of respect and
consideration. She identifies the origin; Brooklyn trees, Chinese trees,
trees in Viareggio or Central Park, trees from Vermont. She titles each tree
and in doing so furthers her interpretation of the familiar shapes. Family
trees, growing from the central trunk and showing the connections of the
limbs and the mutual support that the branches lend to the whole parallel
the symbolic in Hrbacek's World Tree Series.
Copyright © 2006, Headbones Gallery, The Drawers