Barked introduces a world where art and nature intertwine, where the majestic beauty of the world's oldest and largest trees is captured. Our work strives to preserve and protect the beauty, myth, and magic of the natural world. We are the trees.
The BARKED project began with architect and artist Robert Ouellette's investigation into biomimetics. Robert led the global Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Prize under Founder Dr. Ron Dembo. The Prize celebrated innovative, world-changing ways to insulate existing buildings to save energy. Since tree bark is a natural, insulating "skin", Ouellette started documenting the world's longest lived trees to better understand their evolutionary success. Over time the project changed from a focus on utility to a focus on the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual benefits trees and forests offer us.
BARKED project trees are the oldest, largest, and/or most unique trees in distinct regions of the globe. Many are threatened by a changing climate. Their legacy is irreplaceable. So far, our search for trees has taken us to Canada, the US, Australia, Mexico, Thailand, France, England, Scandinavia, Lebanon, Singapore, and Morocco. The next expedition will be to southern Africa.
Using high-resolution digital cameras, we photograph a cylindrical section of a majestic tree's trunk. Where possible the entire girth of the tree is documented. The resulting images are woven together using advanced software and then flattened into a two-dimensional image. Depending on the size of the tree, the complete, unrolled images can be ten or more metres long. We segment the longer images into modules of two metres wide by one high. Smaller, frame-sized editions are also available. The pictures are stunning to look at but they also capture a tree's environment, life, and history. Art meets science.
Where possible the entire circumference of a tree is photographed.
The resulting images are digitally fused into a flat, large-format print.
Almost everything in life is better when done with other people. We invite you to get involved with the project by sponsoring the work, purchasing a limited edition print, or collaborating on a specific tree project. Contact us to discuss how to be part of the BARKED initiative.