I discovered this chap whilst researching the method required to take an intaglio print off of a tree stump so all you got would be the tree's annual rings on the piece of paper. I know this is a bit wacky for me to be looking into this, and completely not the usual type of work that I post here, and you might be wondering why I am thinking about this type of process. All I can say is that it was just an idea that popped into my mind for a sideline project I am working on at the moment. Anyway, I just had to share Bryan's work with you all here because I a think it is utterly fabulous. He does all sorts of work as an artist but it is his 'woodcut' prints which fascinate me the most. I really want to see his work in the flesh*, alas I will have to make do with the internet and his book called 'Woodcut' for now.
Hemlock 82 (below) is particularly interesting to look at (right click it and open it in a new tab them blow it up nice and big). It almost looks three dimensional, like the contour lines on an ordinate survey map. I think what is so intriguing about these pieces is what they represent on a multitude of levels. I find that on first glance they take on different forms so that they look like maps, spillages, exploded bombs from the air, ripples on a pond, solar systems, paddy fields, eye irises, black holes - I could go on forever. However, when you look closer at them, one starts to study each ring and the view point shifts. I personally find myself looking back through time and wondering what the conditions were like in the years gone by. Then I start comparing the different imprints left by different tree species, or imprints by the same species only grown in different areas. Studying these 'tree portraits' is simply fascinating and an extremely grounding experience.
Hemlock 82 by Bryan Nash Gill ©
Honey Locust 1/1 by Bryan Nash Gill ©
Pine II by Bryan Nash Gill ©
Willow by Bryan Nash Gill ©