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Rebecca Meloy: Cascadia Tree Suite

Meloy & Company, Bellingham
Nov 2, 2001 - Dec 24, 2001

Rebecca Meloy, Chuckanut (2001),
relief print

Rebecca Meloy's new set of prints continues to pay homage to her favourite subject matter - nature. Cascadia Tree Suite is a series of 9" x 9" prints. Every piece in this show is honouring, more specifically, a variety of different trees from Washington and Oregon.

To Meloy, trees are part of the whole, interconnected life system that she calls "home". Trees, plants, wildlife and even buildings all have a memory to her and are part of this "whole". With Oregon trees as one of Meloy's earliest memories, she has a bond with her subject matter that is beyond that of reproducing a landscape. She describes shore pines as "trees with a haunting and muffling darkness emitting a calm and richly soothing essence" or alders and vine maples as "trees with light glistening through the foliage as bright as diamonds". Meloy is inspired by the many qualities that trees possess, for instance, the "harmonious and protectively sustaining stature" of filbert and fruit trees. There is an emotional tie when you hear the artist speak of "Oak trees in Eugene with strength which were sadly felled to build a Safeway store."

She is able to sense and capture the unique and varied qualities that characterize trees from different regions. In her piece Oregon Beach, one has the sense of the dark coastal pines set among the mist and breezes of the Oregon coast. Meloy's composition also gives us the long beach grass and the feeling of being perched up high on a coastal cliff and peaking at the misty ocean through the break underneath the pines. So it is not just trees that Meloy is speaking about in these new prints and it is not just the essence of trees that she is capturing. Meloy's compositions set her trees among the Oregon and Washington surroundings the way we actually see them.

© Allyn Cantor