Branching out: Giuseppe Penone’s tree sculptures

Samuel Reilly in More Intelligent Life:

The use of local produce is something you might think it more likely to find advertised in a gallery’s café, than at the opening of the exhibition itself. At the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s retrospective of the works of the Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone, however, a credit tells you that the potatoes for one of the exhibts were supplied by W. Moore and Son and Bradshaw Wholesale Ltd.

This series has its origins in Penone’s early ventures in the forests of Piedmont. Grasping a tree – feeling, in his words, “the flow of the tree around my hand placed against the tree trunk” – he sought a means of freezing in time this fleeting experience of touch. He attached a steel cast of his hand and forearm to the trunk; as the years have progressed, the tree has begun to grow around and envelop this foreign object; eventually, to the naked eye, it will erase even this prolonged memory of contact with the artist. The three bronze casts on display here reveal the extent of this process six, eight and 12 years after it began.

More here.