Barbara Andrus recalls that many of her happiest childhood memories are of time spent "up in the trees." Tree Lantern Drawing was inspired by these memories as well as by the book The Baron of the Trees by Italo Calvino for which it serves as a visual metaphor. This site-specific work located in a grove of gray birch trees is intended as an aerial drawing, its forms delineated through the variant spacing and sizing of its component parts within a grid-like frame. This sense of order, however, does not equate to regimental predictability.
Tree Lantern Drawing is, in fact, notable for the ebullience with which it cuts its way through the woods. Most evocative, however, is the poetic and reverential way Andrus' work interacts with its environment. Tree Lantern Drawing isolates and emphasizes a small portion of the woods while the lanterns and projecting horizontal members mimic the elegance and simplicity of the tree form. In concert with the change of seasons, the installation also encourages a close observation of nature. The russet shades of fall foliage render nearly imperceptible the Douglas fir structure while the barren winter woods accentuate its Minimalist qualities and emboldens its assertion of self.