Eco Art/The Tree of Life

In this series of work, I explore the verse describing the Torah as “Eitz Chaim”, a tree of life. In Mishle 3:17, we read that “it (the Torah) is a tree of life to those who grasp it and its supporters are praiseworthy. Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace”. A Jew cannot live without Torah just as a tree cannot survive without water. For this reason, water is also a traditional symbol of the Torah. Just as a tree provides us with physical nourishment through its fruit and protection with its shade, so does the Torah provide us with spiritual nourishment and protection. A man is compared to a tree. The roots buried deep below ground draw sustenance though water (the Torah), the trunk (the body) is seated on earth and the branches (the soul) reach upwards towards their source (Hashem). The life of man is reflected by the seasonal cycles through which a tree passes. The miraculous transition from winter to spring reminds us that in difficult times of life, renewal and hope lie just beneath the surface. A tree is firmly rooted in the ground, resistant to destruction even by strong winds. The Torah and the Jewish People are a parallel to this. The Torah is rooted in Divinity and all of the forces of the physical world are incapable of detaching it from its source. Despite the many decrees and persecutions throughout history, no one has been successful at destroying the Jewish people and their Holy Torah.

In Kabbalah, “Eitz Chaim” is a mystical symbol used to understand the nature of G-d and the manner in which He created the world. The Hebrew word”pardes” meaning orchard, is used to refer to the hidden secrets of the Torah, buried deep beneath its surface meaning.

Tu b’Shvat, the holiday which celebrates the “birthday of trees” is unique to Judaism. It is our obligation to value, nurture and protect the “lungs of the world” given to us by G-d.

Stylistically, I have embarked on an exciting journey with oil paint. Using my fingers instead of a brush is a tactile experience which imparts freshness and freedom to the work. The image grows freely and vigorously, mirroring the growth of a tree.

In this series my paintings are named according to their ‘characteristics’ and ‘personality’ rather than their species.

Frames made from recovered and recycled wood.
Ecological awareness and environmental protection are central to my work. My frames are custom made and individually designed from recovered and recycled wood by Christo Boshoff in Sedgefield.
In this way the frame becomes an integral part of the artwork itself.
To contact Christo, Call: 0443432667 or e-mail: