CANON – A derelict log shares its story.

Posted on Oct 15, 2015

“Since I moved from the city 9 years ago, it seems I have fostered a closer relationship with nature. When a tree talks, I listen.” – Robert Studer.

Originating from its gaping mouth via sound and image, a massive discarded old growth log expresses its accumulated experiences of 500 years right up to present day.

By virtue of its size and age, this once majestic yellow cedar tree was a well established resident of the local coastal forests before western civilization ever set foot on the shores of the Salish sea. Now reduced to a commercial commodity, its living history is belied by the consequence of a brief interaction with Western culture – a condition evident by its demise, neglect and rot.  However, like the pages from an ancient text, within the rings and cells of this massive carcass, sounds of an ancient forest ripe with life reflects upon a time when nature was in balance.

Canon serves as a log, a record kept, the cycle of life, growth, destruction and regeneration. It speaks of a much larger living whole of which humanity is explicitly connected to.



Robert-Studer-Canon-3Multi-media installation by Robert Studer, in collaboration with Kirk Michael, Gnetahn Jehman, and Kelly Backs.

Canon was featured during the Sechelt Arts Festival at the visual arts exhibition, The Story of Cedar in October, 2015. The work was well received.




Biologists say when a tree dies naturally, it takes an equal amount of time to return fully to the earth. In theory, the complete story of Canon remains only half told with another 500 plus years ahead in its decomposition.

“Once a tree, then a derelict log, now an artistic expression- its future stories remain untold,” says Studer. With that, Robert is considering to convert Canon into an AirBNB accommodation called The Bear Den. “It’s a niche market in experiential tourism for those compelled to commune with nature,” says Studer.  If you think this idea has roots, please share it.

If you think the concept is just plain crazy and would prefer to sleep in a work of art, call us direct.