By LUCY THOMPSON
D.Bayartsetseg, also known as Godo, has opened her second exhibition themed around trees. A seasoned performance artist who also works in more traditional artistic styles, this is her seventh solo exhibition and can be seen at 976 Gallery until June 4.
“Tree II” is the artist’s examination of the dynamic between people and nature, exploring what humans have taken from trees and what they have created.
The walls are covered with intricate line art drawings, yet a plywood door is propped to one side and on the floor are piles of sawdust, contrasting the industrial uses of wood with the potential to become delicate pieces of art.
The idea of human impact on the environment is also considered. One wall is printed with a poem about trees in a structure reminiscent of the shape of a tree trunk, but in one corner of the wall the letters of the poem look like they have been chopped away, reflecting the damaging attitudes humans frequently have towards nature.
In opposition to this – and perhaps to counteract it – a video installation shows D.Bayartsetseg moving through a forest barefoot, embracing trees and kneeling on the ground. She is barely distinguishable from the foliage, demonstrating that it is not impossible for humans to return to their ties with nature just as the artist has done.
Godo’s simple line drawings are intriguing in that they use a product of trees to portray the various uses of trees in our society. For example, the viewer can discern stacks of file paper, the spine and leaves of a book, and notepad pages. However, there are also lots of drawings of leaves in different styles, from mottled shading invoking decay to heavy crosshatch lines resembling the veins of a leaf.
In “Tree II” Godo probes every way in which trees are present in our lives, presenting the viewer with not only structural objects, such as window frames and a boardwalk, but more gentle touches, like flowers and leaves evocative of autumn.