Monday, June 6, 2011

Movies and nature and sculpture.

The movie, ‘The Fountain,’ was an engrossing story about one man’s struggle to save his wife’s life. The story spans thousands of years, using the Spanish quest to find the Fountain of Youth or Tree of Life, a modern day researcher searching for a cure for cancer and the birth of a star. Made in 2006, the movie was nominated for several Golden Globes, but didn’t win. I didn’t see or hear about it then, but thanks to Netflix, I saw it this weekend.

Hugh Jackman was mesmerizing. There was a dark, rich quality to the entire film that held all scene and story changes together and the editing was impeccable. The story of a researcher who stumbles on the Fountain of Youth while trying to cure his wife’s cancer, his denial of her death and how the death itself fuels his research into the tree of life. It was riveting.

I’ve doodled in my sketchbook for years with my own version of the Tree of Life and last year, I was commissioned to make a Tree of Life for a local school out of copper. You can read more about it and the process here.

The Tree of Life depicted in the film is a twisted, gnarled tree much like the ones that captivated me on a recent trip to Bryce and Grand Canyon.

The trees I admired on my trip grew up out of the rock. This one looked like it was dancing even in the hard weather conditions.

The Utah Juniper tree has a shredded bark and twisted limbs. Its ability to grow in rock and over the edge of the cliffs is amazing. I admired this tree’s strength, rootedness and ability to grow in spite of broken, torn and damaged limbs. Trees have always inspired me but these trees will influence my sculpture work and my writing now and for years to come. And it obviously inspired the filmmakers in The Fountain, too.

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