Since I was a little girl I've been making dens....and don't think I'll ever stop..........

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Ghost Forest

It's quite unnerving to see the skeletal sight of ten enormous tree stumps installed in the courtyard of the Museum of Natural History in Oxford. They are beautifully sculptural organic pieces, that remind me of the bits of driftwood I used to find in my aunties studio, juxtaposed next to her large oil painted nudes. But I did find it a little haunting, as the title of Angela Palmer's installation, Ghost Forests, suggests. Especially to someone like me who loves everything growing, and even has an urge to cut off the heads of dead hydrangea flowers in other people's gardens....I just find something very sad about dead flowers! So this exhibition has a kind of beautiful melancholy ...........

I even felt that I had to offset the images of dead trees below, (ironically especially the ones that were storm damaged and look as though they've been pulled up by the roots by some superhuman gardener, rather than those felled,) by posting an image of the west African Rainforest in its full luscious glory.

There was also a little offsetting on the part of the installation organisers too. You may be interested to know that apparently this is a carbon neutral project, the carbon footprint being offset by projects in west Africa. You can find more about this at which you can link to by clicking here. And you can read about the Oxford artist Angela Palmer at her website www. here.

...and you can view some video interviews below......


I would have loved to speak with M/s Palmer she was at the Museum when I visited this morning, but as you can see busy being interviewed. I do have to say that I have mixed emotions about this piece, it does sit a bit difficultly..........I find it hard to comprehend how someone can bring these enormously heavy pieces apparently weighing up to fifteen tons, for thousands of miles and justify the environmental cost, even it's being compensated. Surely it could have been done another way.....maybe we have to make sacrifices for art....but isn't Palmer compromising the whole concept of this piece of work by doing it?
Having said that, it's here, and will be for the next twelve months and well worth a visit. It's going to be used as an open-air performance space for theatre, dance, music and story telling and It will be an atmospheric venue, especially when back lit at night. I'll definitely be going back for a second look.......and probably a few more......


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