Wild Nature Comforts Us

Palo verde tree on end by Roger Asay and Rebecca Davis

Yesterday I went to an exhibit called Wood and Stone: Substance and Spirit at Mesa Contemporary Arts. Roger Asay and Rebecca Davis of Prescott have created installations of sticks and stones that literally turned my perception of Arizona’s nature on its head. The pictured palo verde tree rested so gracefully on its branch tips, and the peeled wood was startling and gorgeous.
Remember pressing leaves between the pages of a book? The artists have taken the concept leaps beyond. In a compelling piece, thirty six large squares of pressed willow leaves are hung in a grid on the wall. The leaves swirl in pleasing symmetry, as they are found underfoot in a riparian canyon, and the large grid on the wall is like a tree, but not.
In a long narrow space stretched tidy piles of dirt, lined up like so many multi-colored ant hills. This is a literal representation of the substrates of Arizona, collected every fifteen miles from Utah to Mexico. Each soil sample is labeled for location, listing the highway and the milepost. Looking down the line, the range of colors and differences in consistency of the soils are striking.
Triangular towers constructed of highly compressed forest duff lined one wall. Who would think the patterns created by woodland compost could display such rich texture and color? And how in the world did they pack it so tightly?
Several wood spheres graced the exhibition space, each four or five feet in diameter, the individual pieces of wood pegged in place, cut and polished to create a perfect circle. See more about the artists and their work at asaydavisstudios.com. Unfortunately this is the last weekend for the show.

Manzanita Sphere from Asay Davis Studios in Prescott


One response to “Wild Nature Comforts Us

  1. Pictures are fasinating. Especially the sphere. Can’t imagine the hours donated to that one. Your were fortunate to catch this before it moved on.

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