The big tree art of Australian artist Stuart McMillen's Thin Air Trees is beautiful, but his connection to trees goes far deeper than his stunning visual representations.
McMillen has a deep respect for trees, and writes, "Once hidden before my eyes, I am now drawn to the sight of trees wherever I look. I marvel at the defiant way they erupt from the ground, pushing towards the sky. I rave over the precarious way they hold their mass above our heads. What I once ignored now forms a focal point of the way I appreciate the world around me."
"A major aim of Thin Air was to make readers appreciate the elegance and brilliance of a familiar, yet overlooked neighbour: the humble tree."
The Thin Air cartoon describes the 17th century experiments of Jean Baptista van Helmont. His 5 year experiment with a willow tree aimed to figure out from where plants got their mass.
The cartoon goes on to describe the natural engineering of big trees that are built with little more than air and water.
The author/artist believes that humanity would be better served if we conducted our business in a more natural, sustainable manner, like the trees.
"To the enlightened person, McMillen says, "trees are no longer just ‘things’ that fill the space between the important, man-made structures of the world. They are incredible in themselves!"
McMillen's work goes far beyond trees, and his cartoons on science, society and ecological sustainability are as thought-provoking as they are wonderful to look at.
See Thin Air Trees at: http://www.stuartmcmillen.com/comics_en/thin-air/#page-1
Stuart McMillen's other work can be found at: http://www.stuartmcmillen.com/en/