Friday, April 14, 2006

Books in the Trees






My friend and I went for a walk in the woods the other day.

It was a cloudy cool day--the moss was lush and springy underfoot, the trilliums nodded white between the ferns, and the exuberant yellow skunk cabbages decorated the swampy parts of the forest floor like oddly-perfumed daffodils.

As in a dream, music wafted through the trees---harp and flute and piano. And adding to the dream-like quality of the paths, there were strange sights in this part of the forest.

Flying wooden fish suspended from trees, rock sculptures painted in primary colours, creatures constructed from twisted metal parts....the art of George Sawchuck is part Alice in Wonderland and part Blair Witch Project.

His woodland gallery is located partially on Crown land and extends into his adjoining yard. It's one of those places that even locals are not much aware of, I think. There are no posted signs to inform random folk rambling in the woods that these trails contain rather eccentric (occasionally eye-brow raising) art, not to mention some political commentary reflecting the artist's rejection of organized religion and his professed communist leanings (at least he professed them in the seventies).

What appeals to me most are the books in the trees. Yes, I can't go anywhere without reading a book. It's a curious thing to reach into a tree, pull out a book, and read it. Mind you, the books contain only one page. You can read a lot of them...if you can find them.

Sometimes the wooden pages lay on tables by a pond, sometimes they were chained to a rock.

Other messages were left on posts or stumps.

And occasionally I'd open a wooden cupboard in the forest today and find not pithy sayings, but say,little wooden severed heads, reminding me simultaneously of punked-out tree spirits and cheesy B-movies involving voodoo curses.

Have you ever felt as if you were not really awake?

















15 comments:

Grant said...

It's almost like the place Tai visited.

Liz said...

What an awesome place! I want to go there. It looks so green and the ground spongy. Wish we had places like that. The art is just an extra treat. You live in such a neat place.

BostonPobble said...

Over at Tai's I said I wanted to go. Now I want to go even more. Books in trees...

Spider Girl said...

Heh, funny you should note the similarities, Grant... :)

Ian Lidster said...

You did have fun, didn't you. I had fun hearing about it in person from your own lips, too. Have a wonderful Easter. Ian

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

Tai took me to this spot, many years ago -- it's one of those happy memories that seems to exist in the space between lucidity and dreams. Of course, the dreaminess is enhanced by the fact that I've never been able to find my way back.... but I've never been particularly adept at noting landmarks, so really, this isn't so much a comment on the spot's magical quality, as my own pitiful sense of direction. :)

Weary Hag said...

Wow. Talk about an enchanted forest.

Wonderful pics ... sounds like you had a pretty memorable time of it.

The Phoenix said...

That's incredible. Now I want to go after seeing Tai and your pics. Did you happen to see any giant bunnies out there???

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

What an interesting forest walk and I am especially interested in the forest books. Your pictures are great and thanks for such an informative post.

nicki said...

can i come visit you please?! it looks like there is so many wonderful places around where you live :)

Zambo said...

Hey Spider Girl.

Looks like you had lots of fun in that magical forest setting.

Nice pix!

Your Pal,

Zambo.

tsduff said...

This place looks awesome - and inspiring. I'd like to create something like that. I wonder how long it has been being made?

JLB said...

I've never seen anything quite like this, and it's been on my mind ever since you posted it...

While I've never conceived of the "books in the trees" idea, I do like to use my router to etch bits of poetry into pretty round wood slices from the wood pile, and place them in the garden. :)

Crystal said...

Hey, this is like deja vu, Tai did a very similar post!

Freudianna said...

Ohmigosh. Nothing much to say about this except...COOL. Books in trees. Yeah, that's just too cool for words.