land art forest

 

a drop in the ocean

The photos will always be related to LandArt, documenting that vanishing moment in LandArt. It comes as no surprise to go from a photo back into LandArt.

The organisers of the exhibition ask me to give a talk about my work at Clegyr Boia in Wales. How can a drop relate to 6 hectare of land, perhaps the feeling of really being just a drop in the oceaan while you know you should be so much more than a drop.
The little feed the big and the big feed the little, we forget, we give up before we start, feeling so little among the so big.
All them little drops form an oceaan, without a drop no oceaan. Remember, many little create a big.

mushroom power

LandArt alters the landscape, sometimes just a moment, sometimes forever. The artists have a dialoog with nature in a landscape and from that dialoog flows a sculpture which alters that landscape.
They add something to the landscape or they intervene in the landscape or they act in the landscape.

a shape at the edge

The LandArt at Clegyr Boia became a landscape. The lessons learned there on that plot of land act as a basis for the next piece of LandArt. A concept that will be used for several pieces of LandArt, all around the world.
So the photo exhibition will be the onset for something much bigger than a drop in the oceaan.
Trees will play a major role as they always play a major role in so many different landscapes. Trees are the backbone of a landscape.

Tree Flag

Learning from past mistakes, learning from past failures, moving into achievement.
A book will be written about the experience at Clegyr Boia with at the end how to move them experiences into an achievable LandArt Forest.
The notebooks came out of the cupboard, photos are searched and gathered an idea takes shape.
Research starts, into books, newspapers and internet to make the idea grow.
While writing about the past contacts are made for a network of people and organisations to add onto that base of a forest.
New notebooks come into action and in November there will be more than just a drop in the oceaan.
The exhibition has been moved to November 2018 at Alcoutim in Portugal.
To create time.

distance looking

 

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tree art

Many trees can be used to make living art. You make the sculpture by using the strength of growing trees, the tree takes part in the creating of the sculpture. The artist need to know the qualities of the tree they work with. Every tree have their own distinctive ways to survive in the harsh environment, each have their own evolutionary story to tell.

wrapped tree-art with Ash

wrapped tree-art with Ash

The Japanese make art with trees for centuries in the form of Niwaki, Japanese topiary. The artist prune the trees every year to create the shape they want.  With topiary you can make any shape you want, such as long you have the patience to prune the growing tree for many years.

Flag made with Sycamore

Flag made with Sycamore

The fast growing trees lend themselves for a different kind of tree art. We see many of the fast growing trees as weeds, as they spread so rapidly by seeds. When a tree seed herself in your garden you can even weed her out and plant her elsewhere or make her into a piece of art.

Net in an early stage

Net in an early stage

I used a 7 year old sycamore to make the sculpture ‘Net’. The tree was coppice to a hight easy to work from. When new shoots came in the spring, I choose a strong one and pruned the others away. The growing shoot was leaded along a bamboo stick, when bark formed on the shoot, I moved the bamboo stick to make the shoot grow in a different direction.

net 2 months later

net 2 months later

An other Sycamore, just 3 years old, became the Flag by bending and pruning, two shoots were allowed to grown in the natural direction towards the light. Next to them two Ash trees were used to make Wrap.

willow

willow

Willow has an other force that make them very useful to make living sculptures. They produce a high amount of growing hormones, the old rooting powders to help cuttings root, was made of Willow. This growing hormone gives Willow the strength to root easy and to heal wounds made by eating (pruning) animals. The next few months are the best to take cuttings from Willow and plant them where you want to make a living sculpture. You can cut them as long as you want but how older the branch how harder it is to take root and to bend the branch in the shape you want. The best is to look for an older tree and prune the branches and than wait till next season to prune the new grown branches.

willow ball

willow ball

I found a Willow, along the Shropshire Union Canal, which was pollard, the new shoots were woven and other were pruned away. Now a year later I have a great selection of new grown branches I can use for a new piece of work and planting. The woven branches start to make their own sculpture as they grow into each other as one.

how it looks now

how it looks now

the woven interaction

the woven interaction

The nice thing about making this art in a public area people will interact with it. The Willow hoop I made along the canal was broken yet somebody did like it as now i see this woven willow taken shape in the same spot where I made the last Willow hoop.

the old willow hoop

the old willow hoop

Now i will help whoever made this woven Willow and keep on weaving here. The other Willow sculpture is a bit hidden so more safe from judgement of the human eye. By weaving or pruning a Willow you don’t kill her or even damage her you help her to grow even more and stronger.

the new willow hoop made by a passer by

the new willow hoop made by a passer by

The pruned Willow you can plant by just sticking it in the ground or in the early spring by putting them in a vase with water to let them make roots. When there are some roots you can plant them where you would like.  Willow is brilliant tree to use for land art as a part of the Bridge Land Art Forest.

willowart rockwillow6monthslater

15

A new piece of land art inspired by a year, which is almost behind us.
The prime inspiration for the land art is an odd drifting part of a boat found in Rotterdam.

drifting oddness in Rotterdam

drifting oddness in Rotterdam

A great piece for some drifting land art however, just last year the canals of the UK had a drifting piece, called uprooted trees, so moving away from drifting. The shape stays as a pattern for planting trees.

reflecting thoughts

reflecting thoughts

A place for reflecting on our human being and the strength of trees.
Where ever I cruise with the Wånderlust I see the reflection of trees in the water growing like pieces of art holding on the edge of the land.

The next inspiration comes from a land art poem which is very popular on Flickr photo sharing site.

why

why

It made me think about a piece I made once in response to a video I saw about exponential function 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 , etc.  How even today we still believe economical growth has no limit and keep on moving towards an ever increasing number. The report from the club of rome did already mention the impossible of continues growth, in the early seventies.

can we count

can we count

In the point of the pattern i plant one tree the next row 2 and than 4 finalising it with a row of 8 trees.

Further inspiration came from the street trees, how they are planted in the jungle of concrete and bricks. Around a street tree you will find a bit of earth, a place to shit for the city dogs. In 2013 Stamper died at the age of 16, my dear old doggie.

street trees in Dordrecht

street trees in Dordrecht

Dordrecht the place i was born the place where my papa died this year, looking over a chestnut tree, which stands at the edge of the river.
Not a square at the foot of the tree, too many corners for my liking. A circle with rocks around each single tree, filled with sticks as a mulch.

a vision between the stones of time

a vision between the stones of time

How dead trees help the living trees, going back into the earth, to feed the living. A vision of drifting sticks came into my mind. The sticks and pieces of wood we find in the canals drifting along the boats, the sticks we find, hiding behind the lock doors.

from the old comes the new

from the old comes the new

Willows, lots of Willows showing the art of trees showing the inspiration of drifting.

willow reflectionThe unexpected appearance in the spring, a living source of nectar for bees.

black hoodie

black hoodie

8 Willows it will be.
In between not so sure yet, Oaks or even Ash.
Every tree gets her own poem, some written in the past, some written now, some will be written. 15 written poems, land art poems, the written landscape take your time to read while you grow.

a poem once written this year recovered in the stream

a poem once written this year recovered in the stream

golvende momenten
van vrede
vallende draden
van het evenwicht
vloeiend naar de
leegte

Perhaps i will find it again, maybe not.

de river streams past

de river streams past

The location is clear somewhere on the edge of water, perhaps a peninsula, even better an island.
The shape made with iron hidden by driftwood. Iron collected from scrapped metal boats. You can visit the island by boat, only.

a drop in the ocean

a drop in the ocean

15 drops hidden in the ocean, drifting to be seen.

And

That is how a proposal was born.

Tree Art or the Tree as an Artist

Tree Art; the art of creating a tree, or art made with a tree, or the art made by a tree.

the artist the Beach tree

the artist the Beach tree

From a distance it looks just like any other tree you just past, however on the moment, you stand still and look, something more comes looking around the corner than just a tree.
The instant becomes a growing gallery of artistic work with more than just one aspect. One tree, once planted by somebody in the woods, started to grow and alter her own appearance, her own beauty.
The viewer looks and says out loud now; “How did she do that”this is certainly seen as a sign of good art, by many people in the art world.
It isn’t art to make something of which everybody says; how clever, it is an art to make something you don’t understand. (Het is geen kunst om iets te maken waarvan iedereen zegt wat knap het is eenkunst om iets te maken waarvan jezelf niets snapt. Herman van Veen)

How did she do that?

How did she do that?

Have a good look at the above photo and see how the tree grew an ‘armrest’  two big branches connected by one small branch which grows into both of them.  Why and how it happened the artist does not tell us, no little white label next to the sculpture, not even a title to give a hint of what we, as viewer, should expect from the art work.

An other aspect

An other aspect

As with all sculptures you can walk around the sculpture to see a totally different aspect. The artist has given a new meaning to 3D, every part of the sculpture tells a different story. Why did she alter her allure this way, who was she trying to seduce with her beauty?

A tripple kiss.

A tripple kiss.

Perhaps she wants to bewitch the Daffodil to grow underneath her with her narcissistic behaviour.
According to the art critic it improves the foundation of the sculpture so it can get easier support from potential designers. A very professional point of view, but how many planners will be draw in by these fascinated quality of senses.
A woman tells the reporter, she doesn’t really understand the art but this is sure a sculpture with grace.

Why this tree did grow this way will never be revealed, but no artist can create such an abstract piece of work full of sensitivity, no matter how hard we try.

willow hoop first year

willow hoop first year

Creating art with trees, making living sculptures is not new, willow and other fast growing trees are great collaborators.

Willow Hoop years later.

Willow Hoop years later.

The art created by the tree her self can’t be matched by human hands, we just try to copy.

Shadow theatre

Shadow theatre

The aesthetic value of the work of the tree has no number, no words attached, no explanation in the form of an artists statement. The work shows the creation of chaos to exhibit elegance which humans only see in fairytales. Chaos making structure without categorising elements.

Some Moments don't need a Frame.

Some Moments don’t need a Frame.

I don’t think that many people will see the tree as an artist without connecting it to a fairytale. Yet, I saw an artist and i have no idea how she did it.

dipper into the flow of tree art

dipper into the flow of tree art

Art made with trees, art made by trees

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.

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?