Portraits of Survivors Series

This series was exhibited in 2012 at the National Gallery in San Jose, Costa Rica, The Meewasin Gallery in Saskatoon, Canada, and the Hague Gallery in Regina, Canada.

“Portraits of Survivors”

Images of large trees emerge through layers of acrylic paint and collage on stretched canvas in my series titled “Portraits of Survivors”.

This body of work was painted in the tropical forests of Costa Rica. I am intrigued by the giants that loom up above the other trees.  They must have been the ones that weren’t cut down through deforestation.  The secondary forest is emerging all around them, but it is slow. It is said that when regeneration begins it can take a century for recovery back to the original state as a primary rain forest.

  The paintings are imbedded with butterfly wings and skeletalized leaves found in the forest. Other collage remnants are stamped prints of leaf venation and ferns on dyed tissue paper.  In the paintings they become the symbols of the living ecosystem dependent on each tree for existence. Through these tree portraits I have focused on the individual old growth trees, survivors of earlier times.

To look at a tree, each with its own unique form and contribution to the forest is to gain wonder about our own individual existence.  “We need trees more than they need us” 

Linda Moskalyk