For her solo exhibition at The Economist Plaza, Kate Davis presents the third work in her Target sculpture series.
The first was made in Poland, the second in Australia – which won The Sydney Water Sculpture Prize in 2002 and is now in Campbellnewtown Gallery Collection, Sydney. The Economist Plaza is the third. In each case the Target sculptures used the trunk of a native tree.
The work at Economist is constructed from an English Holm Oak (Querus ilex) and consists of the whole 12m trunk divided into two sections. Fish-eye mirrors have been inserted into the widest ends and, at the other ends are fixed flat circular mirrors. The two sections are then sited on the plaza to reflect surrounding architecture and passers-by crossing from one side of the space to the other. On the opposite wall facing the piece is a line of wall text reading:
Fancy a willow, fell an ash, find an oak
This references the process of making the work as well as the happenstance that can occur in everyday life. During the process of making this piece, Davis travelled the country in search of a willow, eventually decided on an ash, only to discover once the tree was felled, that it was in fact an oak. In addition to the pieces visible on the Plaza, a charcoal /ink drawing of the topmost branch of the oak and its fruit [the acorn] has been placed inside the Economist Building.
Davis’s use of native trees draws on rich and complex references from history, tradition and folklore. Trees have often been perceived as a link between earth and sky, as a channel/doorway between the earth [mortality] and the heavens [spirituality]. Similarly mirrors have often been used as an aid for prophecy and foretellings. In this way, trees represent doorways, both mental and spiritual to the imagination or dream world. According to Nature mystics of all ages, the oak is a doorway like all other trees.
The Artist would like to thank Matt Galpin, Lucy Quinnell, Adam Boydell and Richard Quinnell.