Trees Real and Imagined
Photographs by Ann Kendellen
September 4, 2013
While wandering through towns from British Columbia to Louisiana, I find myself captivated by trees. We take this living plant and carve, prune and decorate it. We also take the surface of an exterior wall and imagine the tree upon it.
The tree is a potent symbol. It can suggest beauty and happiness, protection and strength, or balance and healing. Individual trees represent very particular characteristics. The elm is intuition; the aspen determination; the willow magic and dreams.
In an urban habitat trees may survive and even thrive. They can spring from cracks in concrete, reaching up to light and life. In curious combinations, renderings of trees sometimes sit beside the living plant. Other times the painted tree is hidden in grimy alleys and parking lots. The tree’s deep relationship with us, like its living branches or sketched leaves, remains both real and imagined.
Whether photographing family life or urban settings, my interests lie with people. How we impact, respond to, and change our environment is one facet of a project like Trees Real and Imagined.
I graduated from the University of Colorado with a major in Sociology and minors in Fine Arts and English. Since 1986 I have lived in Portland, Oregon, serving as longtime volunteer on the Blue Sky Gallery board and exhibition committee.
My work has been exhibited, among other places, at Blue Sky Gallery, the Portland Art Museum, Portland International Airport, Froelick Gallery, City Club of Portland, the Internationale Fotoage in Germany, the Center for Fine Art Photography, A Smith Gallery, and the San Diego Art Institute. Images are held in private and public collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Portland Art Museum, the Visual Chronicle Collection of Portland, and the Whatcom Museum of History and Art.