Making Trees

Luckily I live near a forest with beautiful trees. I wander around looking for that perfect tree that is both interesting and idyllic. After taking hundreds of photographs I choose the ones to be made. I then photoshop them to separate all the layers I need to cut. After that it’s just a matter of following the instructions I make for myself.

Everything is handmade by me for every part of the process. The trunk is usually made from one sheet of MDF with a massive amount of cutting needed. As with anything I do, it is very important not to make any mistakes. It’s important to cut things in the right order, because sections get weaker after cutting all those holes.

Painting the pieces also takes a lot of time. In fact, there is no part of the process that doesn’t take a lot of time. Like a puzzle, each part and each process has a place, and when it all comes together, the result is more than the sum of its parts.

When everything is cut and painted, it’s a matter of putting everything together. That’s when I really start to see if it all works as I had planned. There should be no surprises at this point, and there hasn’t been so far, because it looks just as I knew it would. Each tree consists of countless pieces mounted on different levels, all interacting with each other to create the illusion of a tree.

The result is something that is different than other representations of trees. A real tree is of course three-dimensional and would not cast a shadow like these reliefs do, and would not change in perspective the way these do. Likewise, a photograph would also not react in the way this relief does. I wanted to create something that was in-between, and this is what I came up with. The finished result goes by the title “Even Better Than the Real Thing”.