I’m a local artist born and raised in Prince George. I sculpt in various mediums and the latest I just completed this summer is the “Tree of Life” carved into Western Juniper.
I discovered this piece of Western Juniper high up along the tree line in the Rocky Mountains close to the BC – Alberta border. There had been a fire through the area a number of years back and I suspect that it was from a lighting strike as it was just too far away from civilization to have been started by man. The wood had sat weathering for an awful long time to have such unique grains and patterns in it, yet the wood inside still remained beautiful with its rich colours.
Knowing that I could give this piece of nature another life, I dragged it down the hillside where it sat in my shop for a number of years waiting for just the right inspiration. Like a lot of my work, it is a partnership between me and the medium I’m working in; I have my Ideas and the tree has its’ say. So far my relationship with nature has gone quite well.
All four subjects have a connection: the salmon on the bottom close to the stone beach is heading up the Tree of Life, the First Nations man and the sleeping bear both rely on the value of this species as well as each other for survival, the eagle sits on top not only as an ambassador of our skies but very highly respected by the First Nations people. The tree itself brings it all together for without it there would be no salmon, bears, people or eagles. It represents the people and the nature of the province of BC.
This tree has been with me for a long time, so when I started cutting into it I was nervous as well as excited. We sat staring at each other contemplating where to go next and with what as I work my way up the tree but the end result has been very rewarding. I’m happy that I’ve been able to give this beautiful, extremely old piece of nature that was just laying on a mountain top another life.