Antony Gormley

EARLY TREE WORKS, 1978 - 1982

In the late 1970s, I abandoned any thought of inscribing ideas into material and tried to find a way of revealing the inherent subject within the material: the tree within the tree, the seed within the wood. The first works were simply an unpeeling of logs to reveal the first years of growth underneath the bark, or the form of potential growth in seed.

This was polarised in works such as END PRODUCT a seed-shaped form made from the base of an elm tree. This work was completely burnt and shows the navel points where branches once extended from the cut surface.

My relationship with wood and trees ended with FALLEN TREE, where the wood from the entire tree, including the branches and all the sawdust from being cut, was dropped from the original height of the tree onto the floor forming its own constellation of material.

Prior to that there were two experiments: one FLAT TREE, in which the main trunk of the tree was laid out in a spiral starting at the centre with the top of the tree; and REAARANGED TREE, a thirty-year-old pine tree arranged into thirty piles from one to thirty pieces.

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FLAT TREE

FLAT TREE, 1978
Larch Wood, Diameter: 6.78 m,
Photograph by Stephen White, London

TREE SEED

TREE SEED, 1978
Beech wood
length: 39 cm, diameter: 33 cm

UPRIGHT TREE

UPRIGHT TREE, 1978
Larch Wood
2.46 m x 10 cm diameter

BARE TREE

BARE TREE, 1978
Pine
170 x 38 x 38 cm

RE-ARRANGED TREE

RE-ARRANGED TREE, 1978
Elm
760 x 73 x 13 cm

LAST TREE

LAST TREE, 1979
Cedar wood
25 x 85 cm

THIRD TREE

THIRD TREE, 1979
Birch Tree
Height: 3 metres, Diameter: 10 cm