An intricate Bonsai Tree made from strands of twisted copper wire
For the Upcycling Project, I was heavily inspired by videos I have seen about people making Bonsai Trees from twisted wire. I am drawn to this process because it emulates one of the core tenets of the Zen aesthetic, “beauty in imperfection.” A tree made from wire may appear from a distance to be akin to its real-life counterpart, but upon closer inspection, one will find the simplicity of its design creates something that is not a perfect replica, but that’s not its purpose. The other core tenant of the aesthetic is “impermanence,” and I am disrupting that concept by making a tree that will never grow old or wither with the seasons. Yet I believe I will reach this aspect of the Zen aesthetic with my state of mind, by entering a flow state during the creation of the tree. While the trunk is a fairly simple task of twisting a whole bundle of wires into the desired shape, the bundle must then be segmented off into smaller sections that form the branches of the tree. From there, each individual wire must be separated and twisted in on itself until it resembles a group of leaves. This process is then repeated a hundred-fold, and the repetitive monotony of wire-twisting will result in a very Zen-like experience. Akin to my process for painting, I plan on putting on my favorite music playlist and zoning out for hours while making this project, creating a pleasant escape from the more thought-intensive duties of my day.
 A landscape of flagstone mountains I created for a project last year
While the tree can be displayed by itself, I think it will only be magnified by the base I present it on. This is why I plan on combining this project with a previous scene I have created. Some time ago, I made this flagstone mountain range. While I was quite happy with the end result, I always felt that it needed something more to bring the piece to life. I plan on featuring this Bonsai Tree behind the mountain range, looming over the pieces of stone, casting a shadow upon the Zen garden sand I will place below. The finished result will resemble a traditional bonsai garden, but with the change in scale and color, I believe its perspective will be warped in a fascinating way. This falls in line with my surrealistic art style, and I am quite excited to merge these two projects together.
 A bundle of telephone wire I sourced from Art Parts for $4