“Let us tell their stories, learn our history and remember the lost possibilities of every life cut short.”
– Governor General of Canada
Trees are known for their sturdy trunks and far reaching limbs. So much so, trees are often used as the veritable symbol of strength, kinship and even life itself. Yet, even the hardiest trees are often felled by man or disease, pushed to the wayside and ultimately forgotten. This photographic series reveals the faces of wooded life cut short. Raggedly severed cross sections pose as portraits of once majestic tree forms. The cross sections expose the anatomy, and in so doing, the passage of time and clues to conditions throughout their lifetime. Seeing white as black, and black as white further reveals the structures that supported the tree and life itself. The “group” images suggest the delicate balance of this precious life form so vulnerable to the whims of humankinds endless thirst
We came to this photographic project with some degree of guilt and even regret. At the behest of our town, with a building permit in the offing, we removed an outcropping of “non-native” redwood trees. The portraits of trees “cut short” is our tribute to the four sturdy, carbon reducing, one time inhabitants of our property.
About Ellen Konar & Steve Goldband
Ellen and Steve are life partners and collaborators in fine art photography. Their co-productions are often strong geometries in muted tones, evidencing Steve’s eye for geometry and light, elevated by Ellen’s interest in memory, meaning, and color. The translucency and mystery of their images are heightened by their embrace of the imperfection-laden beauty of Japanese Kozo papers and the infusion of encaustic wax. The resultant images quietly draw the viewer into the complex and tension-filled interactions between humans and the natural world.
Their images have appeared at galleries and museums such as the Center for Photographic Arts, Carmel, The Griffin Museum of Photography, Boston, Soho Photo Gallery, NYC, Corden|Potts Gallery, SF, Berkeley Art Center, Gray Loft Gallery, Oakland, Awagami Museum, Tokyo, Lenswork Magazine, and The Forward. Awards include selection as a Critical Mass Finalist in 2020 and semi-finalist in the Awagami International Mini Print Exhibition. Steve and Ellen received PhD’s in Psychology and were contributors to the emergence of the digital age during their work at tech giants including Apple, IBM, Intel, and Google.