Gallery: Keith Jennings Carves Mysterious Spirits into Living Trees

 
According to the artist, each portrait emerges from the character of the oak.

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  1. mythyvonne April 11, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Wow, your carvings are exquisite! They really capture the “spirit” of the forest and remind me of the Mountain Ghosts I have seen in Switzerland. I have to say that I am dismayed to see that you are carving into healthy trees. Have you consulted an arborist in regards to this practice? I see that your text makes mention of the trees’ “healing” but these are serious injuries which can cause the death of the tree. The bark is a protective layer for a tree. Your carvings have removed this layer and have also compromised the phylum and xylem of the tree. This opens the tree up to infection/disease and or invasion by pests. It also compromises the trees’ ability to process sugars/food. This is a dangerous practice for the health of the trees. Have you considered carving into wood from dead trees and finding a non-invasive way to install your carvings in the forest? This practice of carving into the bark of a live tree sets a dangerous precedent for others who may be inspired by your work. Currently, our trees are under a lot of pressure due to drought, disease, invasive pests, and pollution. To add to the burden for survival seems counter-intuitive to your effort to bring people closer to nature. Your work shows your heart and your creativity. I’m certain your ingenuity can find a way to to remedy this practice so that it is beneficial to all. I love the expressions on the faces of your carvings, yet I “feel” for the trees as I would “feel” for a person or a dog had I found them “skinned and scarred”.

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