The Old Poplar Tree

When we first moved to Calgary, we rented a tiny old house in Bowness. In front of the house stood a majestic, beautiful, poplar tree that turned an intense yellow in the autumn and illuminated our evenings with a golden hue. We were there for a short time only, but never forgot the big old tree we nicknamed "our light."

Some years later, we passed by our old house when two men were cutting the poplar tree down. It brought us to tears, but there was nothing we could do. Stretched out on the lawn, in sections, lay the old tree. I approached the man with the chainsaw to tell him about our connection to the tree and asked him for the largest lumber pieces to take to the studio and carve.

At the time, I was working on the idea of making Atlas and Axis, but I still did not know what medium or materials I would use. Yet, when I stacked the lumber pieces on top of each other, I suddenly envisioned Atlas and Axis inside. I carved Atlas & Axis from the tree's wood as an homage to the warm light and shade it provided us. Throughout the process, I have tried to keep the tree's character intact without altering its knots, cracks or variation of colour.