We are happy to launch the book about the Tree of LifeProject – a documentary about an artistic altercation with a very special witness of our times – a majestic oak. The artist’s book conveys the fascination of the material and the craft, brings us close to the objects, and gives an insight into Ernst Gamperl’s artistic development over the last ten years.
Ernst Gamperl is seeking artistic refinement in the wood he works with, his objects reach beyond sculptural dimensions towards an echo and semblance of nature.
In 2017 he received the prestigious LOEWE Craft Prize for his remarkable carvings that both transcends and respects his deep connection to the ancient craft of woodturning. The German wood turner’s approach to his work is unique. The way he works with rather than on the material, in harmony and respect with its inherent properties is what gives his finished work the qualities that have brought him international recognition within the art world since 1992.
Master craftsmanship – understanding the essence of a material
In working in dialogue with the material and allowing the wood to unfold through his craft, Ernst’s results are magnetic; they capture a deep connection with nature.
To achieve this he must understand the essence of the wood he is going to work with. “Every log requires a unique way of treatment”, says Ernst, to him, understanding the wood’s potential is the most important skill in the process. Recognising the raw material – its grain growth and structure, cluster growth around the branches and folds and how the branches fork from the trunk all fundamentally determine the outcome of the final object.
This exhibition was the three-person exhibition showcasing ceramic artists Lucie Rie and Jennifer Lee, and woodturning artist Ernst Gamperl. Lucie Rie greatly influenced the mode of contemporary ceramics with her bold techniques and forms of expression within a simple design. Jennifer Lee’s pots present a quiet abstract exploration of space – her works often evoke a deep sense of nature for the viewer. Ernst Gamperl uses woodturning to channel the life from fallen trees and driftwood into his creations. Through the work of three artists that also hint to the origin of creation, the exhibition will take the audience for a tour of the world of creation that enrich our lives and culture.
“The possibility of design as a lifestyle culture is profoundly reflected in the utsuwa ( “vessels, emptiness, universe”) created by these three artists….. For this exhibition, I thought of ways to make the space work to communicate even more directly the fresh sensitivity of the three artists. I created a basin in the exhibition room and installed pieces afloat on the water within. The exhibition is configured so that the viewer can stand face to face with beautiful vessels, mediated by the canvas of flowing water, on the brink between stasis and motion. Our hope is that the exhibition will make it possible for visitors to – through the works on display – feel the minds of their creators.”