Who knew that crumpled paper and molten wax could be formed into blossoming, delicate art! What’s more it was the result of admonishing climate change denial!
Artist Bill Zima grew up in Chicago but now lives in Scotland where he has reconnected with nature and is inspired by the trees around him changing colours in the seasons.
Bill writes "I never have a preconceived notion of the colour, the piece always guides me in this regard. I respond to the shapes and patterns of the wrinkles, to draw tree trunks and/or branches with charcoal. Oil paint is used for the overall tree and branch structure. I apply a beeswax/resin ‘glaze’ coating with a palette knife. After the wax phase is complete the whole painting is painted completely black and the oil paint is removed, leaving marks, crevices and traces thus creating a type of visual history. There is a significant amount of chance in this step as I am not entirely sure where the black marks will be. When dry the painting is buffed extensively with steel wool”. Bill even makes his own frames, embedding the image in deep set wood.
Bill has always been interested in the environment. "When I was a young artist I called myself an environmentalist. Over time, I recognised my carbon footprint was significant and stopped using this description. I am still concerned and worried about the state of the planet. I am also quite dismayed at the coterie who claim there has been no climate change and it was whilst grumbling about these individuals the current body of work was inspired. I was quite angry/upset about climate change denial and distracted with these thoughts when I botched a drawing, crumpled the paper and threw it in the bin. After a few moments of reverie, staring at the shadows formed on the crumpled paper, I connected the thoughts of a ‘throw-away’ society with the trees I began to make. I extensively manipulated the Kozuke paper (strategic wrinkling) in a rough shape of a tree and then glued the paper to 6mm mdf” and hence a new technique began.....
Artworks by Bill Zima are available now at Gallery and Barrow, in Bath, UK