OAK TREE AND LIMBS
This silhouette of a tree pained on weathered fence board is from the giant oak trees of southern Louisiana where limbs touch the ground. As a child I wondered if the roots came up to connect to branches, allowing water to circulate endlessly. Later in life, I used the same image as metaphor for the interconnectedness of life and knowledge, where the tips of branches are the points where science/art, physics/aesthetics, athletics/chemistry, and all disciplines interrelate.
I realized that in these thoughts nature is used as a metaphor to explain complex ideas, something primitive to human communication, what others call Symbolic Biophilia.
“Nature, as a rich taxonomy of species and forms, provide a vast metaphorical tapestry for the creation of diverse and complex differentiations.”
“A limited indication of the symbolic function is reflected in the finding that animals constitute more than 90% of the characters employed in language acquisition and counting in children’s preschool books.”
(The Biophilia Hypothesis, Kellert & Wilson, 1993).