- Charles H. Reinike III -
oil on canvas
60" X 44"
Reinike notes that "A tree is only as strong as its root system that supplies its nourishment for growth and sustainability.""
The branches of the tree spread in every direction, appearing to echo the pattern of a lightning strike that spreads its static charge across the sky. The pattern also suggests synapses and dendrites that channel electrochemical waves, directing the movement and functions of the body and brain.
The roots of this tree are superimposed on a matrix of pictograms and hieroglyphics that inspired the Phoenician alphabet which in turn is found in the wall by the tree trunk. It is the Phoenician alphabet from which Western alphabets are derived. The trunk gives way to the branches embedded in some of the alphabets of the Western world – Hebrew, Greek, Russian and Roman. Like tree roots, the roots of alphabets feed knowledge.
Reinike says this painting alludes to the importance of the written word. "It has been said that Mankind is defined by its language, whereas Civilization is defined by its writing. The written word allows us to pass along to future generations those basic truths we need to live by and the knowledge we need to survive, grow and develop as human beings and children of God," he explains.