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Friday, September 9, 2011

Revelwood - Fine Art Weekly Series


The Banyan Tree is truly impressive. Is it one tree? Multiple trees growing in close proximity with intertwining canopies? They appear ever-stretching. Branches grow out at long lengths. They extend arial roots down into the soil, forming auxiliary trunks. Branches continue out into the seemingly ever-reaching  distance from these roots-which-appear-like-tree-trunks.

The tree's common name comes from the banya, Indian traders, who would conduct business under its sheltering expanse. First the Portuguese, then English explorers picked up on the tree and the banyas, returning home telling their tales. Eventually English writers began incorporating it into their stories, and the name Banyan became synonymous with the tree itself, despite the latin taxonomy Ficus benghalensis.

Whether from our own history or that of fanciful stories, the Banyan Tree has long been a source of wonderment, worship, commerce, and shelter. Countless stories tell of exotic trees that cover entire valleys, of entire cities within the confines of one enormous tree. And these fictitious stories are not far off.

Revelwood is one such tree city in one such piece of fiction. As a city that serves entirely as a school, here not only rooms, but entire homes are grown and shaped out of one enormously large Banyan tree... Our likeness stems from the Kipahulu Area of Maui's Haleakala National Park. While it's at not home here in Orange County, CA, we encourage you to go find it (it's right on a main trail) and setup a tripod with the early morning light!

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