Remnant of Ashen Bloom (b 2020) Lake Houghton, MI.

When Shelter-in-Place (SIP) began in early 2020, I was hopeful because most human activity came to a halt, and I thought our planet was able to take a well-deserved break. Then the mega fires came and swept through millions of acres of trees, trees that have stood witness to centuries. I mourn not just their loss but the loss of their experience. There is no way to count their rings in the ash. I can only paint an impression of their existence.

When trees suffer such a violent death as in fires, where do they go? Do they haunt the ground they left behind? The loss is not merely the trees: but all the micro-organisms in the ground connecting them: their entire communication system is shut down. How much time will it take to rebuild such a biodiverse place? With my lines, I attempt to capture their spectral impression and to share with you this overwhelming sense of devastation.

Along with these small work on paper or wood panels, I also created a mural installation for the Future Tense group show at the end of 2020, just around the 2020 Elections. A video walk-through can be seen here on YouTube

Growing up in California, I’m ever aware of the water situation and the fire season is an annual occurrence. However, in the recent years, these fires grows ever bigger and bigger. It’s a real fear that as summer arrives, fire follows. The drought is no longer limited to our state, but the entire West Coast, including the Canada west. The loss of trees are now uncountable.