“I am groupie when it comes to Rodney Graham. I’ve got a lot of Rodney Graham in my history. One of them, Tree with Bench, is in the collection of McCarthy Tétrault. Graham produced a great many of these upside-down trees, based on the actual mechanics of vision itself. The eye receives an image upside down, and the brain then reverses that image. That’s also the process behind a photograph, because a camera works in the same way: it receives the image upside down. So it’s not that the artist was being cute; it was a serious statement about process.
“This work shows an actual tree that exists in Vancouver. There is a walkway, and the leaves and branches of the tree fill the whole frame, so the photograph becomes an abstract pattern of leaves and branches. You’re engaged with the beautiful patterning of the leaves of the tree itself. It functions on different levels, on an intellectual level and a sort of sensuous one.”