As Above So Below 2015 Aarhus, Denmark
As Above So Below is the bringing together of the microscopic and birds eye views of the landscape.
I was inspired by the Hartig Net, the interconnected root network that exists under the forest floor through which the tree, fungi, moss and other plants share their nutrients. This beech forest is known for this phenomena. Using the shapes from the micropscopic view of the net I used peat (black mud/clay) found at a bog/wetland about 500m from the site and the beautiful moss to recreate landscape lost through erosion.
For Birds eye view I used birch bark, stones and shells to show how water moves through the landscape washing away the soil as it dances its way to the ocean.
I was in Aarhus for a month to research and create the artwork. When I started exploring the landscape and working out my materials, I was led to the Moesgaard Museum. Opened the previous year, it has a great mix of interactive technology and artefacts describing the history of the area, starting with the People of the Sun, the ancestors of this land. One of the exhibits showed, how around the last glacial period the water flooded large parts of the landscape bringing people to live together in organised settlements. The holographic image moved from forest and scattered homes to wetlands (bogs), agriculture and ‘streetstyle’ villages. I was drawn to this moment where a climatic shift, water moving into the landscape completely altered this land and its’ people. (I do not in any way want to present this as a comprehensive view- it was only a moment that I experienced from this exhibition, with a little online research.)
It felt like I was witnessing the “removal from the garden‘. It brought me home to our indigenous elders in Australia and the benefits/wisdom of the hunter gatherer style of living and being with the land. Also to climate change and the issue with sea levels rising and the unknown roll on effects of changes in our biosphere. The idea of the garden and reclaiming some of our lost connection to nature using science and systems found in the living landscape created frameworks this sculpture.
This is a totally unique work, nothing like I have created before. I genuinely feel that it has ‘come from’ and speaks of the beautiful forests of Aarhus.
Collaborators - Evan Coumbe, Nelle Clocherty-Coumbe, Axel Arnott