Wooden Hearts 122x91cm (oil on canvas)
After a night of rain, heartwood glows orange. I was taught by my ancestors to approach the forest with respect and gratitude, to tread the forest floor lightly and only take what is necessary. I run my finger atop the surface of a grooved stump, and following a ray count back rings from bark to pith. I discover 146 growth-rings, an array of clues to the past. As I take a closer look the uniformity of rings dissolves, each ring independently revealing the forest's history, cataloging years of drought, stability, and torrential rain. I set my axe to rest and with each breath fall deeper into a symbiotic transcendence with the forest's past. In a time when natural environments are being exploited for lucrative gain and age old tools replaced with merciless machines, self reflection is vital. The ongoing deforestation of Tasmania's north west temperate rainforest takayna can be seen as symbolic for our disconnection with the natural world. Here, a young man growing up under the guidance of a lineage of traditional foresters, sits and contemplates his connection with the environment and the harvesting methods he practices.