Another year has slipped into memory, leaving only faint traces of the passage of time hidden within our trees, where evidence of our skill and talent now mingle with the darker side of the subconscious. The inner personalities of the artist now appear, as they do every year at this time of haunting, to cast far different spells upon those who dare study them.
Somehow, viewing trees at this time of year reminds us that something unexplainable lurks in the subconscious of the human mind. We remember far deeper than a single lifetime, back into primeval depths and fears that haunted our ancestors. Even those of us who have never walked the remaining ancient forests of eastern Europe or the old growth forests of the America’s Pacific Northwest still feel the draw, and unease, that comes from these lurking giants of our past. Trees invoke emotions in us, whether peace, awe, or even an eerie sense that we are being watched, that we are not alone.
Clutching at our very souls, the trees now pull us to a time when light loses its importance, a time when trees are transcending into a deep dormancy after a year of racing toward the sun. Life giving foliage is discarded like a mask, revealing all, but showing less; leaving only skeletons and shadows that are but a pale reflection of the past. The days grow shorter and things that normally could not be seen in the light of day are now all too visible. This is the time when the darker side of bonsai claws its way into our minds, bringing with it a haunting chill that creeps over our now neglected benches and, if we are not careful, into our reality.
The Art of Bonsai Project’s Halloween galleries have become a tradition around the world, bringing entries from artists as distant and varied as the art form itself. These galleries also serve to inject a little levity to our otherwise serious forum, and they remind us all that, sometimes, inspiration and talent can be found off the beaten path.
It is our hope that this years Halloween gallery not only entertains our readers, but that some are inspired to look beyond the well lit display benches, behind the glossy media, and see beyond the safe, accepted norms that are often blindly quoted on-line. The clues given within this gallery can lead one to a world where talent is unshackled and the subconscious is unbound. But beware; they can also lead one to certain ruin. They can lead down dark, unexplored alleys and unmarked paths to places that most, understandably, fear to go. Those who brave the journey seek the greatest reward of all, inspiration. However, be warned, few return and even less return with their sanity.
We wish to express our sincerest thanks to all of you who contributed to this gallery and to Walter Pall and our friends at the German Bonsai Forum. Without supporters such as you, there could be no us.