Seattle, WA-based artist John Grade recently unveiled a colossal new sculptural installation, entitled Middle Fork, at the MadArt space in Seattle. Grade was assisted by hundreds of volunteers who helped him create this stunning scale mold of an actual 140-year-old Western Hemlock tree growing in North Bend, WA.
The process of creating a mold of a colossal living tree began over a year ago when Grade, along with a team of assistants and another team of arborists scaled the tree.
At nearly 90 feet in the air they created sectional plaster molds of the living tree which were carefully lowered and transported back to the MadArt space over a period of two weeks. Over the next 12 months, hundreds of volunteers (some who walked in right off the streets) helped to create a hollow sculpture of the tree using hundreds of thousands of small wood blocks. The final piece was carefully sanded down and is now suspended in the gallery.
Middle Fork will be on display at MadArt through April 25, 2015. After that it’s going on tour throughout the country. In 2017 the sculpture will be broken down into its component pieces and transported to the base of the tree from which it was molded. There they’ll be gradually be reclaimed by nature. Moss will grow over every surface and eventually it’ll decay, disintegrate and disappear back into the earth.