Arizona Daily Wildcat Online
sections
Front Page
News
Opinions
· Columnists
Sports
· Men's Hoops
Go Wild
Live Culture
Police Beat
Datebook
Comics
Crossword
Special Sections
Photo Spreads
Classifieds
The Wildcat
Letter to the Editor
Wildcat Staff
Search
Archives
Job Openings
Advertising Info
Student Media
Arizona Student Media Info
UATV -
Student TV
 
KAMP -
Student Radio
The Desert Yearbook
Daily Wildcat Staff Alumni

Art from ashes Mount Lemmon fires inspire tree sculpture memorial


Photo
JAKE LACEY/Arizona Daily Wildcat
"Resilience and Resurrection" - Sculpture graduate student Kate Hodges built a towering memorial across from the Park Student Union to remember the 2003 forest fires that devastated Mount Lemmon. Made from trees brought down from the mountain, the sculpture stands 30 feet tall.
By Andi Berlin
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Print this

Where everyone else looked up and saw only the bleak landscape of disaster, Kate Hodges found art.

It almost seems impossible that anything positive could have come out of the 2003 fire at Mount Lemmon. Lasting for weeks and destroying the homes of people all over the area, the incident would normally be one to try to forget.

But Hodges, a sculpting graduate student, thinks there are many important lessons we can learn from what happened. That is why she has devoted the past eight months to creating a tribute to the infamous fire.

This tribute comes in the form of two gigantic 30-foot-tall trees brought down from the area at the time of the incident. Hodges has spent almost every day of the last two semesters carving designs into them and painting lines with charcoal along their trunks. She will unveil her work, "Resilience and Resurrection," Saturday at 4 p.m. on Park Avenue between Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street on the east side of the road.

According to Hodges, the project is not just about the environment and being ecologically conscientious; it is about connection.

Photo

"I purposely wanted to resurrect (the trees) in memory of the fire and help connect people in this community here to the landscape around them and have them think a little bit about where they live and what the environment is like around them," Hodges said. "Because we get so busy in our world, we forget where we live, we forget our connection to where we are."

Hodges thinks looking at the trees can give us a greater appreciation of where we are in the world, both geographically and historically. Beside the two larger trees, Hodges also has included three pieces of wood (donated from the Lab for Tree Ring Research) dating back to the 1500s. Passerby can look at their growth process indicated by the finely polished tree rings and pick out important dates in history.

"Tree rings are a natural timeline that help us learn about the whole history, not only about the life of the tree, but about history in general because through tree rings we can study archeology, climatology, ecology. All these different sciences," she said.

The trees were Hodges' inspiration to do the project in the first place. She has been working with trees since she grew up on an apple orchard in Vermont.

The trees also contain symbolic and metaphorical messages that we can apply to our own lives. Hodges thinks that the fire scars, which inspired her carvings, are a symbol of recovery. Similarly, she believes in the inherent resilient element within people that allows them to bounce back from any situation, no matter how horrible.

"I wanted to do something to remind people that even though we lose things, there's this element of rebirth that comes out of that," she said.

While she was inspired by the sculptural form of the tree trunks early on, the important theme and symbolism of the project came later.

"And all those things came out of the artwork. I didn't think of those things beforehand. Emotions come out of the art, not the other way around," Hodges said.



Write a Letter to the Editor
articles
The MacFarlane clans
divider
Tucson and Campus Calendar
divider
Demetri Martin's all smart 'n' SICK
divider
Commentary: Drinking like a scientist
divider
Art from ashes Mount Lemmon fires inspire tree sculpture memorial
divider
Writer praises Tucson, MOCA and artist
divider
Ass-kicking 'Kung Fu Hustle' a treat
divider
Kidman kills 'Interpreter's' chances
divider
So much for the afterglow
divider
The Sights are set on rock success
divider
CD Reviews: American Hi-Fi, The High Speed Scene
divider
Black's act nearly as funny in print
divider
Restaurant and Bar Guide
Housing Guide
Search for:
advanced search Archives

NEWS | SPORTS | OPINIONS | GO WILD
CLASSIFIEDS | ARCHIVES | CONTACT US | SEARCH



Webmaster - webmaster@wildcat.arizona.edu
Copyright 2005 - The Arizona Daily Wildcat - Arizona Student Media