Erwin Overes

In both religion and mythology, trees are used as a source of knowledge. In my path of self-discovery, I found it seemed only natural to choose trees as symbols for my thoughts and feelings. Though I am not an environmentalist, I feel that many modern people have lost contact with nature and consequently with their true selves. Nature can provide answers about ourselves if we are willing to look for those answers. She can help us with our approach to life.

Trees have uncomplicated goals; they want to grow, to survive. They take all the time they need to live out their span of life. They gather nutrition and energy, which they have the capacity to store for use when needed. These resources will not be lost when they die, but will return to earth enriching the soil again for other trees. The energy gathered throughout their lives will not be wasted. In our own lives, things seem more complicated, but we too strive to grow, to survive. We just have to give ourselves time.

I work with materials from nature. My meditative way of restoring and sculpting those materials, as well as manually applying finishes, helps me to find my own answers. I hope that the simplicity of the finished sculptures stimulates the viewer to ponder his own questions.

Finding your inner strength to deal with the challenges of your life, while being true to yourself, can be a struggle. Abstracting my work to basic elements feels like condensing my problems in order to resolve them more easily. Issues of death, loss and sexual identity seem to be manageable this way.