From 'Dead Trees' to 'Masterpieces'
Turning dead trees into works of art may not do a whole lot for the health of our planet, but in many cases it’s an amazing way of creating beauty where tragedy once visited – and to create another purpose for a tree that is no longer alive. For instance, along Beach Boulevard in Biloxi, MS – one of the most devastated areas Hurricane Katrina left behind, dead oak trees are receiving a new purpose. Rather than yanking the crumbled and broken trees from the median which runs parallel to the Gulf of Mexico, mayor A.J. Holloway commissioned a ‘chainsaw artist’ to transform the median full of dead trees into something of an art gallery. Although hundreds of new trees were planted in Biloxi after Hurricane Katrina – it seemed as if this project was needed; a way to create beauty from the disaster which occurred in South Mississippi and the surrounding areas. Artist Dayton Scoggins started work in Biloxi in 2007 and now those dead trees have been molded into amazing works of art – from pelicans and dolphins to blue marlins and sharks. This same artist has successfully represented the US in many international wood-carving competitions and has won several awards. He’s not the only ‘chainsaw’ artist, though – in fact, throughout the US there are many individuals who have turned dead trees into works of art. Barbara Yates, another environmental artist, has been turning dead trees into works of art for various museums and organizations for quite some time. In fact, one of her most beautiful carvings is a Kanzeon or Japanese Quan-Yin, created for the Zen Center in Los Angeles. It’s amazing to know that when individuals like Dayton Scoggins and Barbara Yates see dead trees – they are seeing a canvas with which they can create works of pure beauty and art. It just goes to show what can be created when you look at 'garbage' with a fresh and creative perspective.