Deciduous (Drawing)

Water, leaves, hand-made recycled paper, clay, burnt willow collected from a forest fire, performer. 2015.

Why seek dated clouds? Why save a letter, take a snapshot, write a memoir, carve a tombstone?

-Annie Dillard, For the Time Being


Recording is not permanent, even in stone. Preservation is an impossible goal when seen larger timescales. What really matters in recording for me is not long-term preservation, but learning through perception. The awareness required to witness and record is valuable in itself. Drawing heightens the senses of the artist, requiring focus on the light, the angles and shadows, the crumbling charred wood and rough handmade paper. A record always fails to capture the real thing, the experience. When records are altered and translated through material cycles, what remains? To record, with no hope for the future, is the struggle of making a mark.

The progression of actions was as follows:

Select a leaf blindly from the pile

Draw the leaf on a sheet of recycled paper using forest fire charcoal

Crush the leaf

Drop the drawing into the water

Watch the paper sink and the charcoal float off on the surface of the water

Select a new leaf

The actions were carried out at various intervals over several days until the water became clogged with paper.