30. John Kirby

Colchester, Connecticut


This is a deadwood style juniper that, by its very nature, is an abstraction of nature. I am drawn to bonsai that are not "realistic copies" of trees we see in nature. I would view trees like this in the same fashion that we look at some of the mid-19th century, stylized block prints from Japan. I want my trees to present a feeling of great age, struggle and strength, much like the stylized wave in Hokusai's "Great wave off Kanagawa".  You know what you are looking at, even though you have never seen it presented as it is. I believe the strength and vigor of this tree is critical to this impression, a contrast that highlights the sinuous and almost feminine appeal of the curves and structure and the singular lifeline clinging to the deadwood. The contrasts are at the heart of the appeal of this old survivor.


California Juniper / Juniperus californica

Estimated Age: 100+ years old
Time in Training: 10 years
Origin: Mojave Desert
Container: Modern Japanese
Stand: not provided