Wid Chambers: Urban Forest
Chambers Fine Art
Portland OR June 4-July 25, 2008
Wid Chambers, video still from Urban Forest (2008) [Chambers Fine Art, Portland OR, Jun 4-Jul 25]
A new multimedia installation by Portland artist Wid Chambers entitled Urban Forest was inspired by the central architectural feature of the Haseltine Building in Old Town Portland; a massive old-growth fir column that has been a major supporting structure in the Chambers Gallery location since 1884.
After spending time admiring the column and thinking about the tree that was cut down to make it, Wid Chambers recreated the profile of the original Douglas Fir before it was milled. Made mostly of plywood, the skeletal icon of the tree is the central sculpture in his installation.
Sound and video taken in Forest Park, one of the world's largest urban woodlands, is projected on several gallery walls simultaneously. Wid Chambers' footage recreates a a surreal forest experience by capturing difficult weather conditions like wind, rain and hail. The lurking reality of industrial Portland, just beyond the trees, cannot be ignored. Glimpses of the cityscape and sounds of automobiles, trucks and airplanes pervade the peaceful auditory tones of wind brushing against ferns and the branches of tall trees.
The show is an ambitious step for the Portland artist, who is known for his digital prints on canvas and paper. He recently branched out, exhibiting wall reliefs during his last solo show at the Chambers gallery.