While I was a student at the University of Washington School of Art (1977-1981), one of my school projects involved taking a mannequin deep into the woods around the Seattle area, and then fixing the mannequin onto a tree.
Once the figure was attached to a tree, I would either cover it in glue, or spray it with photo fix glue, and then cover it in tree mulch, bark, and dirt. Then I would completely glue pieces of bark to the figure, and thus make it "blend" onto the tree that it was affixed to. Eventually, the figure would be (at least visually) part of the tree, as if the figure was growing from the tree itself.
Most of these projects were done in Mt. St. Helen's as I had a school friend whose family lived at the bottom of the mountain, and it was thus convenient as he was my guide around the mountain's ape caves and trails). I suspect that all of them were destroyed by the volcanic eruption of St. Helen's on my wedding day in 1980.
I took many slides of the finished installations, but because after art school I moved to Europe, and then returned in 1985 to go to postgraduate school, while I was at postgraduate school in California, I put about 30 boxes of books and photos and slides and clothes, etc. in storage with my then sister-in-law in Washington state.
Then, while she was on vacation, a pipe in her house broke and flooded her basement for several days. Not only did I lose many, many slides of artwork, but also lot of art, all of my disco clothes (probably a good thing), plus a couple hundred books, including my copy of a hardbound first edition, first printing of Tarzan of the Apes (now worth around $35,000 big ones)... and no, insurance did not pay for it; none of it.
"Mujertree with Broken Arms" (from Daphne series) circa 1980. Pen and Ink. 10 x 8 inches.
Collection of the Artist
I do, however, still have some of the preparatory sketches (above) that I did over the years, and the memories of my student artwork that has been twice wiped out by the forces of nature, as if upset that I was re-arranging and humanizing nature.
"Daphne" circa 1995, Charcoal on Paper, 30 x 20 inches.
Private Collection in Richmond, VA
These nature installations were part of what I called the "Daphne series," and which continues to this day, mostly now in drawings and etchings (above and below), although I am preparing to re-start the mannequin part all over again, in a sense kindled by the tree massacre that took place just down the street from my house, and all the woods around here.
"Daphne" circa 1994, Charcoal on Paper, 40 x 30 inches.
Private Collection in Charlottesville, VA