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Susan Stair
Susan Stair, Wood Wide Web, 2017, Pigment, Clay, Burlap, Board, Mosaic

2017

About

Susan Stair casts portraits of living trees. Their bark reveals race, age, damage and their struggle to survive. Trees of the same species communicate underground thru the Wood Wide Web, named by Suzanne Simmard in 1997. Continuing studies are ongoing worldwide including Paul Stamet’s work on the Mycorrhizal network that connects the trees transmitting resources and electrical signals that have been measured. Susan Stair cast tree #s 3729111 and 3741191, found on the NYC Tree Map, currently on display at ODETTA illustrating the Wood Wide Web. Stair's work examines the surface components of the landscape, such as rocks and trees. She has been casting trees in New York City parks. Both are symbolic of urban life. She presses clay into living trees to capture their complex patterns. Their magnificence can’t be seen with the eye, so through casting, firing, glazing and refiring, the specific markings and contours are made visible. Her exhibitions are of trees from the vicinity which she maps so that visitors can touch my work then go outdoors and touch the tree that I cast. Tree bark has some of the same properties as human skin revealing a story of race, age, damage, and survival. It’s possible to identify tree bark as one would identify a human face. These are tree portraits. She wants to address the parallel life of 2 species that exist together in the urban environment. We tend and cull the trees which provide breath for us. Stair uses the mosaics found in historic cathedrals and mosques, smalti and gold, to adorn the trees. Her clay slabs hold stories of the largest and oldest inhabitants of the Earth. Susan Stair has worked in the US and Asia exploring the landscape. From textile and mixed media collage to works on paper, her pieces create a sense of space and place in the tradition of landscape painting. Her mural for the Percent for art program continued to push the landscape tradition, including a bench where students sit next to Rosa Parks. Stair spent 10 years in Asia creating collaged paintings and installations. She exhibited were at Galeria Duemila and the US Embassy in Manila, the Fringe Gallery with an installation at the Hong Kong Cultural Center titled, “Primarily an Issue of Color” in Hong Kong, and The Tokyo Design Center in Japan. In the US Stair has exhibited in group and individual shows in NYC, Philadelphia, and Rochester, NY. In 2009 she finished “By the Waters” a 9’x18’ mosaic mixed media mural for the Rosa Parks School in the Bronx thru the Sites for Students program. Shows include the 2012 Emerge International Art Fair in Washington DC. She installed the first mosaic in a tree in Stone Quarry Art Park during in 2014 and installed a 2nd tree mosaic commissioned in Rochester. In 2016 Tree Reflections, a mosaic and tree were installed in Marcus Garvey Park. Tree Reflections was moved to the Conference House Park Visitor Center in Staten Island. She works with Art in Flux Harlem and ODETTA.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent.
  • Dimensions

    H 50 in. x W 66 in. x D 2 in.

    H 127 cm x W 167.64 cm x D 5.08 cm

  • Gallery location
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Reference number
    LU17221810173

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