Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Friday, May 27, 2011

Nude Photo Shoot Focuses on Saving 1,500-Year-Old Oak Tree, Draws Police Attention (Video)

by Jaymi Heimbuch
angel tree photo
Photo courtesy of Jack Gescheitdt
Jack Gescheidt, a California-based photographer, wanted to bring people's attention to a construction project happening on a large tract of land right next to Angel Oak, a tree believed to be over 1,500 years old and possibly the oldest living tree in North America. With the threat of development encroaching on this beautiful tree, and more importantly, the habitat in which it lives, Gescheidt figured it was time to make a statement, and that meant photographing 25 nude people posed around the tree. However, the photo shoot drew some unwanted attention... from police.

The Charleston City Paper reports that Gescheidt has used the beauty and inarguable visual draw of nude people as a way to bring attention to ancient and threatened trees, bringing together both art and activism for the greater good of the environment. The Angel Oak project is part of his larger project, called TreeSpirit.
Gescheidt's photographs are absolutely gorgeous, at times juxtaposing the textures of smooth skin and rough bark as the models drape themselves around the tree and at other times positioning the models almost as if they alone could protect the tree from potential demise.

Such is the case with Angel Oak -- the tree's health could be impacted by the new development, and the photo shoot is aimed at drawing attention to, and possibly stopping, the development next door.
While the police were not thrilled with the photo shoot, the artists were able to still capture the shot. Photographs from this shoot can already be purchased online. All the proceeds go to further photo shoots that promote the conservation of ancient and threatened trees.

Follow Jaymi on Twitter for more stories like this