Installed artworks: Day 2 – The Snake Bark Tree

The Snake Bark artwork is installed

Snake bark lo res

Close up photograph of the Snake Bark artwork.

David Hackett taking sample with saw of Snake Bark Tree

   Image David Hackett taking a sample from the Snake Bark Tree, 2016.

An early sample programe from the Snake Bark uncovered some fascinating finds by Clodagh Dooley. See below

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Hassett was drawn in particular to Dooley’s beautiful images of the fungal fruiting body (pod like structure). See image below. 

7 snake bark bark007

Other images taken by Hassett with a normal camera also inspired her to create the final artwork that is currently installed in the Snake Bark Tree. See below some of the first photographs taken by Hassett, which show some of the soma/ breathing holes of the tree.

Imagery of the brightly coloured clothing combinations worn by select sub cultures in Japan during the 1990’s also played a part in the selection of the materials and colours for this piece. 

japanese street style

A close up photograph of detailing the of the SThe images below were taken after the art work was installed in the Snake Bark tree. 

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The following slide show includes installation images taken on a very windy but sunny day post storm Ophelia.

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Behind the artworks – pair of Plane trees

plane-trees-wide-view-lo-res

The pair of Plane trees, (Platanus orientalis) is situated opposite the Law Library in Trinity College Dublin.  See above image above.  

Platanus trees are tall, reaching 30–50 m (98–164 ft) in height and are native to the Northern Hemisphere. Plane trees shed their bark every two to three years getting rid of certain amounts of pollution with the old bark. It is for this reason that they are frequently planted in urban areas.

This pair of trees are genetically related. As a result of an infection during their infancy both trees have an unusual lumpy bark and thick trunks. The lumpy protrusions on the bark are called nodules and continue to grow and regularly fall off the infected lower trunk.

large-nodule-that-prof-taylor-will-investigate

These nodules were the starting point in the development of the plane tree artworks. Initially Hassett collected a large fallen nodule (see image above of the nodule used) and made a two-piece mould from it. Coloured wax was poured into the mould and expanding foam was added to the interior as a strengthener. Two replica wax works were then created.

Interest in microscopic imagery of the haphazard cell structures (see images above) from both infected barks led to the artist to include a representative pattern of cellular ‘holes’ in both wax works. She used imagery from the right tree in the artwork designed for the left and visa versa for the artwork installed in the right tree. In addition both wax pieces were deliberately installed opposite each other further heightening the connection and unique nature of these two trees.

Of note: the artist spent many hours researching and attempting in vain to develop a viable bioplastic recipe to use in the creation of these works. Wax was the material of choice in the end as it will be interesting to see how the sticky surface and structure of the wax pieces will morph and alter in response to its environs over the course of the exhibition.  

Images of the artworks in situ will be posted after the opening of the Exhibition on the 29th of September 2017.  

Behind the artworks – the Snake Bark

snakebark maple leaves and stripey bark

Snake bark maples include 18–21 species, and are mostly found in eastern Asia. Snake bark maples are most easily distinguished from other maples by their distinctive bark, smooth when young and usually patterned with vertical alternating dark and light stripes as the tree ages.

snake-bark-tree-wide-view-lo-res 

See image above, the Snake Bark tree,  which is situated opposite the Berkeley Library.  

snake bark bark007 lo res

The main inspiration for the artwork that will be installed in this tree was the pod-like structure, unearthed during the microscopic imaging process. See image above.  

snake-bark-tree-bark-1-lo-res

Also included in the artwork are representations of the oblong lenticles, which are breathing holes visible to the naked eye on the green and white striped bark.  See image above.  

The artist was also inspired by Japanese street culture from the nineties represented in books like Fruits and Fresh Fruits.

The artwork created by Hassett is made from neoprene, lycra and lycra netting.  Images of the final artwork in situ will be posted after the opening on September 29th 2017.  

Increased Magnification reveals…

 

The following slideshow highlights the process by which Clodagh choose  an area of interest on the Palm Tree leaf and through increased magnification brought, in this case an individual somata, into sharp focus.

Under each palm leaf there are numerous breathing holes and these are called somata.  They are not unlike the pores on human skin.

Images start at 92 times and end at 1,600 times magnification.

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Another example of this is the seven images Clodagh took of the bark  surface from the Snake Bark Tree.  This time she started at 17 times and ended at 2,720 times magnification.  

Of interest is the pod like structure that Clodagh honed in on.  To date we have been unable to find out what it is but we plan to ask Professor Daniel L. Kelly from the Trinity College Dublin Botany Department to see if he can put a name on this structure/ organism. 

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