Natural States – urban trees 2004-2006
Natural States is a series of paintings that describes the anatomy and surfaces of various indigenous trees in urban environments. Alex’s visual experiences are expressed in paintings of trees that stand solidly against harshly lit parklands, roads and urban signage. The solidity of the trees is fractured as one moves closer to their surfaces. Layers of paint merge together to form twisted tracks and imaginary habitats. These sections of the canvas offer alternate routes for viewing the city and its nature. The move from monolithic to microscopic and from realistic to abstract prompts the viewer to participate in questioning the visual construction of both the urban and the natural, and in doing so to create individual narrative for each solitary tree against a radiating sun.
The impetus for making this series came from my experience of views of newly landscaped city parks while driving. I was interested in the symmetrical placement of the trees and the ways in which their forms later grew out of alignment, de-forming the vision of planters and planners, For the purpose of making visual documentation I also walked along median strips, analysing my initial impressions.