Heinrich Spillmann lives and works in Brooklyn. He studied art at the Academy of Art and Design in Basel Switzerland and at Cooper Union in New York City. His work has been exhibited in Europe and the US.
The storms we've experienced in the past years in the North East have felled many beautiful old trees around Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza. In their own way, trees are records of events that can reach far into the past. The possibility of seeing exposed year rings, which might have grown alongside Abraham Lincoln, or the Civil War, fascinates me. The understanding that these trunks used to be the nutritional as well as structural links between the extensive crowns and the far-reaching underground root systems explained the colossal strength and energy, which they exude.
After the initial cleanups from the storms the bare tree trunks often remained on the roadside for a while, waiting to be transported to a far off landfill or for mulching. These witnesses of past history and developments were lying on the roadside disabled, much like discarded carcasses.
These magnificent trunks fascinated me every day on my way to and from work. Part of the challenge was the coordination and logistics of bringing them to a place of my own to work on.