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Boreal Forest Roulette




Triptych 37" h x 69" w

A collaboration of Ree Nancarrow and Charlotte Bird, this work focuses on fire: the conditions of wildland fires and the outcomes after a fire.

Jill Johnstone, adjunct professor at UAF, was their first scientist collaborator. Her presentation to the ITOC group, her articles about fire succession, and her classification key system game for identifying climax outcomes, gave them their focus on fire.

Joan Foote, retired USFS botanist, spent many hours on walks sharing her wealth of knowledge about the boreal forest and succession following fire.

Ree Nancarrow’s three quilts depict some of the existing conditions in the boreal forest when fire strikes. Charlotte Bird’s four book structures track stories of how combinations of variable factors lead to different climax community outcomes.

Ree worked with Tamara Harms and Xanthe Walker in developing sections of the images for her quilts. She manipulated drawings, collages, and textures on an IPad to create images for fabric that became heavily stitched whole cloth quilts. From left to right, the stories are black spruce forest growing on cold soil underlain with permafrost, fire spreading through the boreal forest unchecked, and areas of boreal forest with exposed mineral soil, no permafrost, deciduous trees, and lightning-induced fires.

Charlotte used Jill Johnstone’s game to show variables that can change climax community development over time. Each of her four books illustrate early post fire situations based on fire severity, some of the variables acting on succession over shifting periods of years, and the climax community. They are: return to black spruce forest, mixed black spruce and deciduous forest, deciduous forest, and open grassland. The collaged panels include hand dyed and commercial fabrics, various commercial and exotic papers, birch bark, photo transfer, and glue stiffened canvas.

Panel 1, 35" h x 21" w

Panel 2, 37" h x 27" w

Panel 3, 35" h x 18.5" w

Upcoming Shows

This work will be displayed at the following In a Time of Change: Boreal Forest Stories shows: 

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