Public Gallery 2016

Anne Erhard

From the trees we run between


“Together as carpenters with hammers
we have taught the distance
how to build a roof
from the trees we run between.”

- John Berger


Based on the ancient legends of the world tree, a central axis supporting heaven and earth, this project expands into a poetic study of the notion of origin, the cyclical nature of devotion, and the anonymity of craftsmanship. Traditions of building open up a circumnavigation of sites of worship; surpassing landscape as visual construct and returning to land as graspable object. Drawing from countless mythologies of the forest, my concern lies in keeping visible those fragments of inherited knowledge embedded so deeply in collective memory they are on the brink of eclipsing themselves. Collating multiple narratives into a story of endurance, this body of work oscillates between the boundaries of the found and made.

Layers of imagery are eroded, gathered, and compressed again by the force of interwoven histories; a built land gradually reveals its marks of engagement and possession. Shot between England, Germany, and the Czech Republic, physical locations are extracted and re-arranged, created anew within the space of the photographs. My own family lies at the centre of a web of connections to living and working in the woods of our shared past; the traces of these relations continue to take root in my practice. From following workmen setting controlled fires, leaving behind an earth burnt but renewed, to photographing the woods my grandfathers owned, my images arrest the transformation of matter at various stages - from wood to stone, from bone to ash, to dust and soil, to a state loosened from the successive structure of past, present, and future.

www.anneerhard.com


01 BarTur AnneErhard

Full project display shown at London College of Communication from May 26 – June 4 2016. Skylights resembling sun falling through a forest canopy, constantly connecting new elements of the sequence.

02 BarTur AnneErhard

Temporary sculpture built using various tools. Scan of a print manipulated by rotating the paper, introducing my approach of the project as a circumnavigation around a central axis. England, 2015

03 BarTur AnneErhard

Broken log caught in and slowly eroded by a constructed waterfall, Driftwood as a natural occurrence is also adopted in the industrial practice of using rivers to transport cut timber. Germany, 2015

04 BarTur AnneErhard

Sawdust store at a sawmill in the Black Forest. Unlike soil, sawdust is not made by gradual decay but occurs in the moment of an artificially made incision. Germany, 2015

05 BarTur AnneErhard

Apple tree in my maternal grandfather's garden. Scan of underexposed silver gelatin print. Germany, 2015

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Installation detail. At the centre a brick fragment of my paternal grandfather’s ruined house in an abandoned Czech village. LCC, 2016

07 BarTur AnneErhard

Hunting hide in the ruined village my paternal grandfather, whom I never met, fled after World War II, overgrown by a forest in the time since. Czech Republic, 2016

08 BarTur AnneErhard

Installation detail. Various found objects among a map of a plot of forest owned by my maternal grandfather. LCC, 2016

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Controlled burning in the New Forest to restore nutrients in the soil and encourage growth, charring the vegetation and blackening the ground. England, 2016

10 BarTur AnneErhard

A man, fire and the air between this gesture, rendered in stone not by time but the hands of a craftsman. Wood offers not only the safety of walls but also the shelter of warmth. Czech Republic, 2016

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Painting on the side of a farmhouse in the Black Forest, depicting a forest scene. Much of the project was inspired by vernacular imagery of encyclopaedias and anonymous murals. Germany, 2015

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Roadside shrine that once held an icon, unknown maker. Czech Republic, 2016

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Living fir tree with its roots exposed at the edge of an artificially dug sandpit in a forest near Berlin. Germany, 2015

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Ruined farmhouse in my paternal grandfather's hometown. Scan of underexposed silver gelatin print, referring to a line drawing of the same house also in the display. Czech Republic, 2016

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Dummy portfolio book for 'From the trees we run between'; format and materials chosen after documents from my grandfather's house. LCC, 2016

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A sandstone figure of Jesus nearly enveloped in a tree in the Black Forest. Carved back out so it remains visible, this is in many ways my intention for all the subjects of this project. Germany, 2015

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Charred animal bone resting against the roots of a fallen tree, burnt in a forest fire of unknown origin in Surrey. England, 2015

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A carving found in a riverside tree, unknown maker. Germany, 2016

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Light falling through a window, creating a clearing, in a castle near my maternal grandfather’s home. Germany, 2015

20 BarTur AnneErhard

Temporary sculpture built using various tools. Scan of a print manipulated by rotating the paper, concluding my approach of the project as a circumnavigation around a central axis. England, 2015