Mixed Media Installation > Fragments of the Unreachable (Things That Are Lost to Us)

heather brammeier artwork installation sculpture tree reclaimed materials
Fragments of the Unreachable (Things that are Lost to Us)
Reclaimed wood, planed pine, ladder, willow tree
Approximately 23' x 8' x 8'

Like many artists, I use my artwork to reach toward the unreachable. Fragments of the Unreachable is an installation with floor panels that can’t be walked on. A ladder supporting a tree suggests a way to climb both, but the surrounding structures deny access. My work evokes the internal struggle of trying to reconcile contradictory states of being. The struggle does not always result in frustration; most people find joy in imagining the climb, in spite of its physical impossibility.

Fragments of the Unreachable was designed specifically for the gallery in the Peoria Riverfront Museum. When I learned about the opportunity to exhibit in this space, I knew it was time for me to cut down my slender willow tree to make a work that would reach up toward the black ceiling. After cutting the tree, I peeled the bark from all the branches to reveal the bone-colored wood underneath. When lit, the tree glows against the darkness like a shot of lightning. The eyes are drawn upward, and viewers contemplate the beyond.