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The Forest and The Trees

Micah Lexier

Brookfield Place Calgary
6th Avenue North Tower Lobby

225 6th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2P


The Forest and The Trees, 2017

1,225 cast aluminum tiles, bronze-coated with a patina finish

The Forest and The Trees is a massive abstract tapestry evocative of both natural and digital worlds – reminiscent of circuit boards, prairie fields, or forests and lakes viewed from above. The source imagery is a series of simple cross-stitch patterns, which have been transformed through cropping, duplication and rotation. The seemingly random numbers dispersed throughout are also from these source diagrams and refer to the suggested cross-stitch thread colors.

The Forest and The Trees, made up of 1,225 hand-finished, low relief, metal tiles, is a complex puzzle composed of only 269 unique tile patterns. Some designs are utilized only once, while others appear multiple times to create the artwork’s intricate world.

On the surface of each tile are polished bronze lines that are particularly responsive to light. Depending on the weather, the time of day and one’s proximity, the artwork takes on a variety of constantly shifting metallic hues.

The sculpture is precise – utilizing the grid, repetition and an innovative combination of technologies – but also very nuanced, in that each tile has been labored over and touched by numerous hands and processes. Resonating with its origins in stitchery, The Forest and The Trees is a modern-day quilt, powerfully scaled to its physical setting.