Artist Giuseppe Penone does many things but one of the coolest things is his carvings in wood revealing the original sapling within the tree. He carefully removes the rings of growth by carving out the inside of a tree trunk and leaving the knots in place. Eventually the sapling emerges intact.
Angie in comments asked if he uses a living tree for this work. I found these descriptions about his work:
Penone uses simple materials from daily life to unsettle the boundaries between art and nature, and to point out the interdependence among all organic life forms.
Penone has carved out the wood to reveal its past, showing the tree that grew inside so that it may “live” in the present. Rather than imposing a form, the artist — in contrast to the architect of this space — draws out an existing form.
Inspired by the slow growth in the tranquility of the natural world, the artist invites us to stop a moment to stop and think about the concept of time and how there is a common life force in all living things.
I have not found a direct comment relating to whether he cuts trees down for his works but after reading about his philosophy, I would make a semi-educated guess and say that would go against his ethic. He isn't above interfering with a tree's natural growth as the following pictures show:
|bronze hand embedded in tree|
|and another one|
So, what do you think?