“Can’t See the Trees for the Forest” by Julie Dodd is an installation of book pages cut in the shape of trees and suspended from the ceiling. The installation last appeared at the Bridewell in Liverpool. The oak trees in the back rank are clean and clearly readable while the firs in the front rank obscuring them are blackened. Dodd’s art is art with a green message, protesting the replacement of England’s native trees with non-native quick-growing species.
“The process of installing this work was more important than the finished piece to me. The indigenous trees although similar in shape, colour and content are all individual whilst the addition of the invasive fir trees obscuring the view left me wanting to tear them down to reveal the beauty behind.” “Can’t See the Trees for the Forest,” Julie Dodd
Since the installation above in 2013, Dodd has mounted installations at the CODA Museum in Apeldoorn, the Beeldentuin Achter de Westduinen in Ouddoorp and the Liverpool Book Art Exhibition.
On her site, Dodd writes of “Out of Palms Way”:
The clearing of large areas of forest, plantations and peat land in Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa is having a detrimental impact on our planet. This is happening in order to sustain the demand for the production of palm oil and is causing terrible environmental damage.
“Coral Colony”, stripped back to basic shapes in paper and stripped of color in bleached paper, demonstrates the loss that is occurring in coral beds around the world as pollution and rising sea temperatures caused by climate change kill off the algae that gives the coral its hues.
The fungal spores series is an ever changing project that sees new spores develop from the last through experimentation with different ways of rolling paper from old books.
The project started after throwing away some books that hadn’t been stored properly over the winter in my studio which had left the books with that damp old book smell. Which led to researching images of fungal spores under the microscope.
The destruction of the book will eventually produce many spores of various shapes and size to form a large installation.
“Fungal Spores” and the work depicted here place Dodd squarely in the tradition of environmental book art by artists such as Lucy Lippard, Basia Irland, Hans Haacke, Doug Beube, Ann Marie Kennedy, Maggie Puckett and Do Myoung Kim.