The BRIDGE, land-art forest

Last night I got the idea:
The BRIDGE, a new land art project which involves the planting of trees creating a thousand little and big land art forests all over the world. An ambitious project that can happen with the help of many people becoming land artists in their own environments.

an old oak tree as a piece of art, where culture and nature come together for the future

an old oak tree as a piece of art, where culture and nature come together for the future

It all started when i went to Rhôd where artists talked about future, nature, culture. A question which has been on my mind for a very long time is: ‘How can culture become nature for the future?’. The land art project Vagdavercustis gave me an answer: work with trees. This project taught me many lessons and i want to share them so there will be many land art forests all over the world.
The idea is not art in the forest, but the forest, the trees, being the art. You can plant the trees in certain patterns on the bare land, creating art with nature for the future.

planting trees in a pattern, every white rock becoming a tree

planting trees in a pattern, every white rock becoming a tree

A good idea, yet there are many perhaps and maybes. Here comes my knowledge and the learnings from Vagdavercustis useful. As with everything it will cost ‘money’ yet it will pay itself back in a very different way.

When Joseph Beuys created the 7,000 OAKS art project he made everybody an artist and the piece went further than just seven thousand Oaks. Whilst throwing 7000 basalt steles in front of the main location of the 1982 “documenta” in Kassel he took an entire city with all politicians and citizens as hostage; this ugly pile of grey stone was such a thread that the first thousand oaks were sold in no time. Beuys had the power and will to force society – or culture, so to say – into doing something valuable for the environment. A great idea and you can find all these oaks, each one together with its rock, al over the city.

However i am not Joseph Beuys and will have to work dam hard to get this kind of power he had at the end of his life. So i almost gave up, a well a good idea.

Hindmarsh Island Bridge

Hindmarsh Island Bridge

The above photo is the Hindmarsh Island Bridge and you can read the story about a very controverse building on wikipedia.
So last night i lay in bed to watch the Moon travel by, thinking about how to help and how all them good people with all them very good ideas never get a chance, people are so unfair to the people of the land. My mind went to the time i visited the people of Camp Coorong , the Ngarrindjeri people, the disaster about the building of the bridge and how they solved it in the end by buying a boat to get to their sacred land on Hindmarsh Island.The Ngarrindjeri people didn’t gave up, didn’t have much funding, but continue to care for their beautiful land.

the Coorong with a watchful dog looking at the far away Pelican.

The Coorong with a watchful dog looking at the far away Pelican.

How many people do feel just like me, being frustrated and angry and have given up stopping bridges to be build to develop more and more land for human usage.
So my mind went to “mindfullness thinking” in the now –  the future nor the past – but now. How can i plant trees now?
I thought about  somebody who just grew trees in the backyard and every spring he went with trees on the back of the bicycle to plant them in neglected areas or cleared areas in forests. We all could do so: direct action, for nature, creating art. We can plant them in patterns, we all can link together like a bridge creating a world wide bridge from culture to culture, a bridge from culture to nature. All these pieces of land art, tree art, forest art would have their own stories of their environment and their creator.
Nobody needs to be an expert; me and others could give advice how to plant the trees, when to plant them and how to choose a good spot. A website could be created with photos of all them pieces of art, all those bridges.
The website would show how to grow trees from seed or from cuttings even in a backyard or where to buy bare root trees. And how to look after them the first 2 years when they are adjusting to the environment.

A bridge as a connection at Trefin Beach

A bridge as a connection at Trefin Beach

Yesterday i made this bridge on the beach and when i walked back i came across an area perfect for some BRIDGE planting. I have 2 self seeded little baby trees in the garden who are not in the best spot; I will take them out in autumn put them in pots and plant them  again in the spring. A small stone bridge will come between them, like the above one, that made my heart smile and it made me sleep like a Rose.
So was the land art project BRIDGE born.
I might spend some time to create a website and to start the ball rolling – ready for next spring planting.

For the big land art forest, that i have in mind i need more time and i was still not so sure about it. Than the newsletter from Ecotricity, my power supplier, came in with an article about their new project: “Green Britain Foundation”. I will get in touch with them and talk about my ideas to get another ball rolling. I need a good land owner who would like to give a piece of land for the planting of a land art forest and the rest will come with it.
This is just an early step, a seed has been planted, it will take time to grow.


29 thoughts on “The BRIDGE, land-art forest

  1. Pingback: The BRIDGE forest art | Clegyr Boia's weblog

    • Yes, i do know it and love it. I made several pieces of art with Ash trees and other trees. There is so much you can do with trees, it is just daring to do it. David did force his trees to grow in a certain way, which means you need to look after them. With some trees you can plant them in a certain way to get a nice effect and others are pieces of art by being themselves.


  2. When I saw your first photo, my breath stopped. I thought, “She’s on my island!” However, your bridge is Oak; ours is Fir.

    Roos, don’t stop believing. Your noted longings may be found long after you and I are gone and someone will research your life and throw your idea into overdrive. Now! If you manage it, all the better …


    • Well you can plant fir and make land art with fir or any other tree. This Oak is once planted and than somebody gave it some help with a support and it just keep on growing. The support is now a part of the tree, the tree has grown a little over it, holding the support.


      • Will you accept my Royal Purple bush as participation? I have deer who think my place is a smorgasbord. This bush is supposed to be deer-proof and, so far, the little bush has been able to grow leaves. I’m letting it hide behind tall grasses while clearing a berth so the roots aren’t hampered. But who knows if it will make it.

        I have several Arbutus Trees, Fir Trees, 2 Mountain Ashes, baby Maple Trees and one old Yew tree. The Yew is soooo messy and looks dead. However, my research says that they do that occasionally – then will sprout new life. Of all things, the message was that I’d know if it was still alive if I tried to cut it down. That sounds a ghastly way to test its life!! So I have left it alone and will see how it does over the next while.


      • Brilliant Souldipper, yes any tree can be a part of the project. We can now all look at how to plant the trees Deer prove, as Deer are a part of a forest. So you will be the first participant.


    • no. i haven’t seen it in real life only virtual on the internet, it is a wonderful piece of work. Agnes is a brilliant land artist with many good pieces of work, we all can learn from her.


  3. Nice to find your blog again. I have come to think that the definition of the word “aesthetic” is whatever is life enhancing. Planting trees and doing work that considers the environment are aesthetic acts in the truest sense. I know a few people who plant trees on their own without fanfare…just planting them because it is one of the best things you can do for the earth now. The earth also wants to help this effort by using all the carbon rich gases in the current atmosphere to boost plant and tree growth. Beuys was certainly a touchstone artist, but his work was about empowering people and now it is up to us.


    • Yes, everybody can plant trees, you don’t need to own land to plant trees.
      So many people get discouraged to do something that we need that positive impulse again to share the knowledge of planting trees for nature, working with nature not against it.
      The empowering of people is done these days by money, a number of value gives you the status, the money number shows your success.
      You can plant trees without costing you, nature still can come free of value.


      • Agreed. That’s what I did when I first moved into a rental house on a quarter of an acre with only two trees on it. I planted mainly volunteer from the grass and flowerbed. Now the house is 15-20 degreess cooler than in the sunshine. With 31 trees offering habitat, shade, and wind block it’s like a slice of a forest –complete with poison ivy of course. LoL. I Love your tree bridge idea.


      • Good to see that you will join the Bridge land art forest.

        You can share this blog to get more people aware of it. I just created a flickr group to share photo’s about the project, your location, your design, the trees.


        I am still in the process of making a kind of website where people can post their ideas and where we can share our knowledge.
        There is now a list with people who want to join al i need is a name, a location and an email.

        There will be follow up posts here.

        Thank you


  4. Pingback: The Tree Planters: An Intervention at the Falls of the Ohio | Artist at Exit 0 Riverblog

    • When you replace some of them pine trees from your woodland with other trees they could become a part of the BRIDGE, to encourage more and more people to plant trees.


  5. Pingback: 9 tiny OAKS | Roos Zwart

  6. Pingback: tree art | Roos Zwart

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