• Todd Wolfe

The Art Forest

Updated: Aug 16

I want to talk about where the seed and the art tree that I spoke about in the previous blog comes from. It comes from somewhere. In other words, each seed and each seedling have their own heritage. This whole concept of “Breaking the Plane” which I am playing with through canvases, comes from somewhere. We don’t always know and cannot always see all of the connections, but they are there. These connections exist together, they feed each other, and they rely on each other for life. This reliance is both backwards in time, terms of where the idea's life came from, and also forwards in time, in terms of what new ideas it gives life to.

But it also has sideways connections. By this I mean parallel ideas that become connected to it. Thoughts, objects or other art that are completely separate from this tree that is growing, but all of a sudden becomes connected to it and starts feeding it. Or, as it may be, other art that starts gaining life from this idea and by doing so becomes connected with it.

In this sense, art really is a forest. Art trees do not exist in isolation. To take this concept one step further, I believe art is a very specific type of forest…the forest of a quaking aspen.

The quaking aspen is a tree that primarily propagates through its root system, instead of seeds. According to Wikipedia, Pando is a colony of an individual quaking aspen with an interconnected root system. It is widely held to be the world’s most massive single organism.

That is what art is like. A massive single organism that is interconnected at its roots, with nutrients flowing back and forth between the individual trees. As a massive single connected organism, it is both affecting the culture around it and is being affected by that culture. This is why art is, and needs to be, so virulently defended and encouraged. It is an issue of health for the entire organism and the world around it. Where art is stymied, it will affect not just that tree or grove, but the organism as a whole. But, where the footsteps of the artists of the world fall heavy in the forest, art will thrive, and the world around it will thrive as well.


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