Trees are our stalwart companions in life. Their sturdy trunks and outstretched limbs have come to symbolize strength, kinship and even life itself. But what happens when trees are felled or fall victim to disease, fire or the vagaries of man? What happens when life ends and only sullen logs remain?
This series reveals the faces of wooded life cut short. Raggedly severed cross sections expose the inner beauty, wisdom, and uniqueness of the trees from which they have been salvaged. Appearing alone, they portray the glory of individual trees. In groupings, they symbolize the alliances and interrelationships among trees sharing resources and warning one another of danger or disease.
We came to this photographic project through an unusual personal experience. Our town, in a urban wildlife interface area, required us to remove an outcropping of heroic redwoods on our property. In stark contrast to current protectionist trends, the town insisted that redwoods, not indigenous to what was once an oak woodland, could not remain. The authorities dictated which trees would live and which must die, and we executed the enigmatic death sentence for four of our leafy co-inhabitants.
The faces of these sullen logs caution us that the hardiest among us can be felled, and even the strongest connections can be severed.
Octavia Odin Olaf