(40x80 acrylic on canvas)
This tree is near a small town in southwestern Alberta, with the exact words, “DO NOT CUT” spray painted on its trunk. To the east is the stump of a second tree that once stood nearby. Family Tree is a straightforward documentation of what is actually there. It seemed poignant, this expansive tree with its crudely painted sign next to what is left of its partner tree. A story waiting to be told.
In naming this piece the viewer is invited to consider the curious words written on its trunk in relation to one’s heritage, one’s familial background. Along the way, we make choices that solidify or diminish this heritage. Some of us actively tell our family stories; some of us do not. There may be very good reason either way, yet it still holds true that each of us bear the echoes of those with whom we share DNA and history. No matter how dysfunctional or disappointing one’s Family Story, perhaps it’s worth taking a second look. Threads of insight or joy might be discovered.
The source of my instiration for this painting.