A Tree Called Middle Fork

seattle-lobbyHundreds of volunteers helped sculptor John Grade create the full plaster cast of a living tree that underpins this installation, called Middle Fork, at the Seattle Art Museum.

John Grade: Middle Fork

John Grade: Middle Fork

The sculpture follows the contours of a 140-year-old western hemlock tree located in the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle. The artist and more volunteers used the plaster cast to recreate the tree out of nearly one million small pieces of reclaimed old-growth cedar.

Hundreds of thousands of individually shaped parts define the surface

Hundreds of thousands of individually shaped parts define the surface

Middle Fork is currently 30 X 28 X 105 FT

Interior view from the base of the suspended sculpture.

Interior view from the base of the suspended sculpture.

The sculpture has had many extensions, and Grade plans more. He hopes to match the 140-foot length of the original living tree. Eventually, he plans to place the sculpture back in the forest, so it can decompose and return to the earth at the base of the original tree.

middle-fork-smithsonian

The work has also been shown at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC and was recently displayed at the 2017 Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Watch this short video, or go to the second video for a long look at the project.

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More on the project on John Grade’s website, here.

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There are 8 comments

    1. J Walters

      The volunteer side is amazing, I agree. Apparently, a total of more than 3,000 volunteers have participated in one way or another since the plaster cast was made. Even in Davos, Switzerland, apparently (where the sculpture was exhibited just before it went to the Seattle Art Museum)

      Liked by 1 person

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