Sculptor Keith Jennings carves sage and serene faces into the trunks of trees for a project entitled Tree Spirits. For him the pieces reveal each tree’s unique inner spirit. The project began in 1982 with a tree in Keith’s own backyard. Later Jennings was commissioned to uncover the faces on tress across St. Simons, an island right off the coast of the state of Georgia.

Jennings took two to four days to sculpt each serene face throughout the forest, allowing them to intriguingly blend into their surroundings. (Of course, once they’re spotted, it’s hard not to notice their faces.) Each sculptural portrait emerges from its wooden post like a haunting sage, ready to impart some knowledge. The artist says that each face he carves into the wood is created entirely according to the tree. He insists, “I don’t have that much to do with it. The wood speaks to you, ya know?”

The Tree Spirits project is on display throughout St. Simons Island (along private and public property) and each tree spirit has been marked on Google Maps.

Photos by J. Ashwell, Jeremy MooreheadRobert English, and Cay Ellis

[via My Modern Metropolis]