Title: "The land is the canvas"

Artist: Peter von Tiesenhausen   Exhibition year: 2006

"During his time there, with the aid of surveys von Teisenhausen walked the entirety of the property's 320 acres, stopping frequently to quickly cut discreet, eye-like shapes with his thumbnail into the trunks of more than 1,000 trees. The rudimentary symbol has become a trademark for the artist, who has carved more than 5,000 similar marks into the trees on his own property. Interestingly, these marks have aided his thus far successful legal battles to prevent oil and gas companies from drilling and laying pipes on his land, as they allow him to invoke artistic and cultural copyright. At the Tree Museum, these marks provided the opportunity for him to explore and be in the land, as they do for the visitors seeking them out. The act also allowed to declare the property itself to be the work of art. Adding an object would only have been detraction. Not only do the personal, political and universal fuse in this case; the almost infinitesimal action and mark become a profoundly grand gesture. While remaining true to his own engaged commitment to art, nature and humanity, von Teisenhausen's conceptually based approach to the project represents at once a challenge to his own working methodology and to the expectations of the audience". 
David Liss, "Responding to Nature'The Tree Museum (The Tree Museum 2006)

Peter von Tiesenhausen was born in New Westminster, British Columbia in 1959. He studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, Alberta (1979-81) and participated in the Emma Lake Artists' Workshops, Emma Lake, Saskatchewan in 1991, 1992, and 1993. His work has received critical acclaim nationally as well as internationally. von Tiesenhausen lives with his family in the countryside, near Demmitt, Alberta, northwest of Edmonton.