January 19 to April 14, 2013
In a remarkable ink and paper documentation, Bryan Nash Gill captures the miracle of nature and time through every line, crack, and tree ring. The result is Woodcut, an exhibition in which Gill reveals the fascinating history of individual trees through prints made of cross sections of salvaged wood.
Gill is a contemporary artist living and working in New Hartford, Connecticut. His work has been displayed in numerous galleries and included in collections across the globe.
Woodcut showcases 31 original artist prints, a video of Gill working in his studio, and a wood block of an English oak tree that once stood at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Most of the salvaged wood highlighted in Gill’s prints, including an old telephone pole and a tree hit by lightning, is from land near his home. He sands and burns the wood to prepare it, before creating the print by pressing paper onto the individual ridges and shapes unique to each block. The prints are made by hand, and each is unique.
Also on display are three custom benches crafted from an ash tree. The tree grew at the Garden until it was invaded by the emerald ash borer and removed. It was milled in the spring at World Environment Day, 2012. The tops of the benches were sanded and sealed in the Garden’s carpenter shop.
Featured in the exhibition is Gill's handmade print, English Oak. It was created from a Garden tree that was one of a pair along the back road, located just north of the Dixon Prairie. It was removed after it began to grow into the neighboring tree, diminishing the health of both. Since that time, the health of the remaining tree has been restored.
The Garden provided a cross section of the tree to Gill, who created 18 original AV (artist variation) prints covering the tree’s life. This print is available in the Garden Shop.
Exhibition photographs provided by Bryan Nash Gill, author, Woodcut, Princeton Architectural Press, 2012