Alison Moritsugu creates these beautiful, sometimes harrowing paintings, which are individually painted onto slices of salvaged or naturally fallen trees, which have their bark intact. They tell a story of the tree’s past, through depicting the landscape it was taken from and show how a part of that landscape was separated, cut into many pieces. Moritsugu often chooses to paint onto species of trees that are threatened, in order to make her pieces more powerful. She also switches between paining ‘idealized’ landscapes and ones full of decimation and ruin which show the consequences of industrialisation. She describes her interest in painting beautiful landscapes onto these severed, endangered pieces of wood; “by exploring idealized views of nature, my work acknowledges our more complex and precarious relationship with the environment.” Whilst the media and art may at times make us feel that nature is verdant, healthy and strong and able to survive our destructive lifestyles, Moritsugu wants to shake us from our complacency.
Through her paintings, Moritsugu highlights the importance of reassessing how we treat our environment and our use of natural resources. Like her work, I want mine to appear beautiful on the surface, but also to contain a deeper, serious meaning, of what we stand to loose.