Trees & stories in boxes

One of 29 pieces of The Epoch Tree (Claudia Martinez)
"Umbrella," one of 29 boxes in The Epoch Tree project (Claudia Martinez)

An engaging new exhibit went on display at Migration Brewing, at 2828 NE Glisan, this month. Local artist Claudia Martinez says this about her artwork:

The Epoch Tree is a series of 29 hand-built boxes salvaged from trashed scrap wood left in a garbage bin outside of a cabinetry shop on Foster. These boxes contain 29 trees made of various types of wire. The trees are built in different sizes to represent various stages of one tree’s growth throughout the years.

Some trees are covered in snow, and some have shed their leaves. Every box has a cast of characters interacting with the tree in some way, and each character has a story to tell. The purpose of this art is to show that the smallest seed can create the largest impact—not just in the case of a tree, but in our interactions with each other, such as the seed of an idea, or the creation of life.

"Yoga," one of 29 artworks in The Epoch Tree Project (Claudia Martinez)
"Yoga" from The Epoch Tree at Migration Brewery (Claudia Martinez)

The Epoch Tree advocates awareness of the relationship between people and the nature around them.

Personally these trees represent each year of my life, and even after the show in May, I hope to keep that tradition going strong. My idea is to eventually install these pieces around the city of Portland with a web address attached to them. The web site will include photos of all of the trees as well as tell the stories of the characters that are part of the existence of the tree’s life.