Tree Talk: Artists Speak For Trees
Thursday, January 27
United States: 12pm PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET
EUROPE: 20:00 GMT Australia: 7am AEDT, Friday
Julia Adzuki, Nancy Azara, Toni Gentilli, Deborah Wasserman
The entanglements of a forest are vast, complex and mysterious. Today artists seek to understand and express the interconnectedness of trees with all living beings. Members included in the online exhibition and book Embodied Forest will share their diverse artworks and ideas about our human relationship with trees and forests.
For our January 2022 Tree Talk, Julia Adzuki will share her spoken word poetry and tactile sound in an intra-active performance situated in and around an ancient European Ash. Nancy Azara will discuss her carved, assembled, and painted wood sculptures that record a journey of memory, images and ideas, including the unseen and the unknown. Toni Gentilli will speak about her collaboration with living materials to collapse distinctions between self/other, inner/outer, humans/nature, and to honor the labor of maintaining healthy earth bodies outside the extractive, reductive paradigms of capitalism, patriarchy, and modern medicine. Deborah Wasserman will present her expressive paintings, drawings, and performances that explore themes surrounding Mother Nature, ecological threats, and the heroine's quest.
Tree Talk is moderated by Sant Khalsa, ecofeminist artist and activist, whose work has focused on critical environmental and societal issues including forests and watersheds for four decades.
Co-sponsored by Joshua Tree Center for Photographic Arts
Members and one guest are free. General Public can attend for $10. Capacity is 100 participants. All participants MUST REGISTER.
Images: Julia Adzuki, Resonant Bodies, 2015; Nancy Azara, Ghost Ship, 2016; Toni Gentilli, Medicine Totem (Detail), 2021; Deborah Wasserman, Phoenix, 2019
From Eucalyptus regnant of the Styx forest in Tasmania, to Fraxinus excelsior in Europe, Julia Adzuki's Ashes to Ashes weaves spoken word poetry and tactile sound in an intra-active performance. Situated in and around an ancient European Ash, that is a tactile sound instrument, audience are invited to experience resonance within the body of this tree and to register environmental grievances with the Ministry of Environmental grief. Adzuki works with transformative processes across the fields of visual, performance and sound art. Her work addresses environmental grief and underlying frictions of the human environmental crisis through embodied enquiry with poetic, accoustic and haptic resonance. Born on Waveroo Country in Beechworth Australia, Julia first moved to Sweden to make art that melts. She is co-founder of SymbioLab, Ljudtornet and Fungus Kingdom studios and has an MA in Choreography from Stockholm University of the Arts. juliaadzuki.com
Image: Julia Adzuki, Resonant Bodies, 2015, Ash tree, piano strings, tuning pegs, tactile sound instrument used in performance, 160cm x 300cm x 160cm
Nancy Azara has been carving in wood for many years because of her love of trees. It felt like a good “fit” as she has always admired trees and, even as a child, felt they held a metaphor for her experience of life. The sculpture is carved, assembled and painted wood with gold, silver leaf and encaustic. The wood, the paint and the layers record a journey of memory, images and ideas; including the unseen and the unknown. Nancy Azara is a sculptor and feminist artist/educator working primarily in wood, mixed media collage and prints. Azara's densely layered art engages with memory, personal history and the cyclical nature of time. She has exhibited extensively most recently with a solo show "High Chair and Other Works" at A.I.R. Gallery, 2021. She teaches workshops/classes in art making and meditation, co-founded the New York Feminist Art Institute (1979-1990), and is the author of Spirit Taking Form: Making a Spiritual Practice of Making Art. nancyazara.com
Image: Nancy Azara, Ghost Ship, 2016, vine with gesso, paint, and aluminum leaf on wood posts, 4' x 12' x 1.5'
Toni Gentilli communes with cottonwood forests in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico to contemplate entanglement of plant and human wellbeing while tending to topics of autoimmunity in women and other chronic conditions linked to ecosystem degradation. She collaborates with living materials to collapse distinctions between self/other, inner/outer, humans/nature, and to honor the labor of maintaining healthy earth bodies outside the extractive, reductive paradigms of capitalism, patriarchy and modern medicine. Gentilli is an alchemist whose practice is rooted in deep ecology, ecofeminism and an intuitive process of exploration bridging art, science and embodied knowing. She has apprenticed herself to the transformative powers of plants by co-creating with wildcrafted botanical pigments and herbal remedies for over 10 years. Gentilli was Residency Director at the Santa Fe Art Institute (2016-2021) and Cultural Resources Project Director at an environmental planning firm in Arizona (2000-2010). tonigentilli.com
Image: Toni Gentilli, Medicine Totem (Detail), 2021, upcycled cotton t-shirts and macramé cotton yarn dyed with foraged cottonwood catkins, cottonwood branches, buds and leaves, Arizona cypress seeds and pods, glucose test strip containers, and used insulin vials, 120" x 36"
Deborah Wasserman's expressive paintings, drawings, and performances explore themes surrounding mother nature, ecological threats, and the heroine’s quest. In her recent series Amazon Dreaming and The Profiteers, the rain forest paradoxically appears as a barren landscape, ravaged by flames and littered with debris, a victim of human exploitation and indifference. Through her art, Wasserman invokes the spiritual and physical connection between humanity and nature, heightening awareness of current global crises. Deborah Wasserman was born in Brazil, raised in Israel, and currently resides in Queens, New York. She is a graduate of CalArts, the Whitney program, and is a two-time Skowhegan alumna. Wasserman’s works have been exhibited in the United States, Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany, and Israel. She has been the recipient of grants from Aljira, the A.I.M. Program, America-Israel Foundation, Queens Council on the Arts, and Puffin Foundation, and was chosen for a NYFA Social Practice fellowship in 2017. Wasserman is also a Finalist for the NYFA Artist Fellowship 2020 in the category of Drawing. deborahwasserman.com
Image: Deborah Wasserman, Phoenix, 2019, acrylic, oil paint, and fire on wood, 18" x 24"