Italian artist Giuseppe Penone is renown for his art that incorporates nature and humanity, and his 2012 exhibition, The Hidden Life Within, excavates a massive tree’s early form.
The Hidden Life Within was originally shown off at the Art Gallery of Ontario. To come up with the piece, he took a massive tree trunk and carved it away, ring by ring, to show off the tree’s earliest self.
The result is remarkable, showing off where the larger tree came from, and how it changed with years of growth.
This wasn’t the first time that Penone worked with trees: in 1980, he created Tree of 12 Metres, which was displayed at the Tate in London:
Tree of 12 Metres was made by scraping away the wood from a felled tree, which had first been roughly sawn into a beam, to reveal its internal structure of narrow core and developing branches. Penone’s aim was to return the tree to the form it had had at an earlier stage of its growth, making visible natural processes which are normally hidden.
You can see some more images from The Hidden Life Within over at The Modern Met.