When Trees Draw
There was a time when we considered elephant artists to be breaking news. These days, it's not uncommon to encounter paintings by pachyderms, chimpanzees, cats, and dogs. But drawings by trees? Now we're shocked.
The arboreal art is the work of British artist Tim Knowles, who attaches writing implements to the tips of tree branches, then lets nature take over. "Akin to scientific experimentation and investigation," writes Knowles, "the results of my projects [although operating within carefully developed controls and parameters] are unpredictable and outside my control." As the wind blows the tree's pen-tipped branches, a unique image is created.
Nature reaps varied rewards for its creativity. While the sale of some Asian elephants' paintings helps to fund sanctuaries that provide food, shelter, and veterinary care for the endangered species, it doesn't look like the trees will be reimbursed for their artistic efforts.
Should tree drawings be considered art? Tell us what you think!