Visual Arts

"Fallen Timber" at New Living Beautifully Reclaims Wood

We all know the old saying, "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" What if that tree is taken and turned into something beautiful or functional, then does it make noise? If you are talking about the new exhibition "Fallen Timber," currently on display at the gallery at the Made at New Living workshop, your answer will likely be yes.

The show is a collection of works by various artists who have taken wood from trees that have been destroyed by natural or man-made occurrences and turned them into works of art.

Stephanie Hamblin's "Untitled" piece, which is reclaimed limbs from an Arizona Ash tree found in the vicinity of the Heights, is the stand-out amongst the collection. A composite of cut branches that resemble mini tree trunks is hung on the gallery's far wall. At first glance the image resembles the state of Texas, but it's not quite. Upon second glance it is the absence of wood that is even more eye-catching, with the outer pieces creating a deficiency that perhaps is homage to the disappearance of the original trees themselves.

The artist that aliases as Journey Through has several pieces in the show, two of which are lovely creations made from feathers found in the Rice Village area. The feathers are splayed in a delicate pattern inside frames made from recycled pine. Both pieces encapsulate the concept of the show's theme of natural beauty.

Other pieces in the show are more functional, lamps and pens made from reclaimed wood that also tell a story while finding a new purpose. Cooper Mead has created a unique lamp by taking a branch of a found Live Oak. Despite it being made from something that once grew in dirt, there is something incredibly clean and simple about it.

The only issue I had with this collection was that it wasn't bigger! Each piece was interesting in its own right and the entire exhibition could have been expanded. Often times you wish that someone had edited a gallery show, that was not the case with "Fallen Timber;" rather, I wanted more.

New Living will host this show in its artisan furniture gallery and Made At New Living workshop on Kirby Drive. New Living and its artisans want to educate Houston to make better decisions that protect the well-being of our families and environment, while also incubating a marketplace for clean, local production of goods. The show is free and will be open through Friday, June 13.

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Abby Koenig
Contact: Abby Koenig