20 meters of crocheted cotton yarn, an enormous tribute to the natural world, a new and spectacular piece by the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto: all of that is the Gaia Mother Tree. An essential sensory quality is among the characteristics that have best defined the work of the Rio de Janeiro-based artist. Likewise, the fact that many of his works are made for crowded public spaces gives them not only a generous spirit, but also makes them into the containers of information relevant to their social setting. Concerts, talks and workshops have all been organized within the tree’s intricate interior.

Created with the support of the Fondation Beyeler, the tree, half green and half orange, is an oasis inside the Zurich train station in Switzerland. The tree’s creation involved the work of 27 people who crocheted for weeks by hand (an intelligent technique, it’s capable of refuting Euclid and even of dealing with global warming). The sculpture is based on a fragile structure which can be touched by those passing by. It’s an invitation to re-connect with the sense of touch. Neto even placed some 600 kilograms of powdered spices – turmeric, clove, cumin, and black pepper – which give off a special smell, another of the captivating characteristics and a way to attract the minds of the audience to the present in a kind of olfactory meditation.

The work was inspired by the spiritual connection with nature described and practiced by the Huni Kuin people of the western Amazon in Brazil. Neto has worked with them since 2013 and their values, their sense of community, and their crafts have been the inspiration for the artist in his most recent works.

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<p“An art work is a poem. This is a public space and this work is all about intimacy. It’s a big work but everything comes from a little, one knot after the other,” explained Neto in a video about the installation. The paradoxical quality of the sculpture is thus revealed: in its capacity to face both the massive and the intimate, the enormous and the small, the natural world and the urban environment.

A sculpture made of knots, the Gaia Mother Tree is an imposing tree of some 20 meters, a temporary installation whose very existence is an invitation to slow down your pace, your time, and to breathe, to see beyond your own setting, governed as it is by clocks and schedules.

 

 

 

Images: Fondation Beyeler


20 meters of crocheted cotton yarn, an enormous tribute to the natural world, a new and spectacular piece by the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto: all of that is the Gaia Mother Tree. An essential sensory quality is among the characteristics that have best defined the work of the Rio de Janeiro-based artist. Likewise, the fact that many of his works are made for crowded public spaces gives them not only a generous spirit, but also makes them into the containers of information relevant to their social setting. Concerts, talks and workshops have all been organized within the tree’s intricate interior.

Created with the support of the Fondation Beyeler, the tree, half green and half orange, is an oasis inside the Zurich train station in Switzerland. The tree’s creation involved the work of 27 people who crocheted for weeks by hand (an intelligent technique, it’s capable of refuting Euclid and even of dealing with global warming). The sculpture is based on a fragile structure which can be touched by those passing by. It’s an invitation to re-connect with the sense of touch. Neto even placed some 600 kilograms of powdered spices – turmeric, clove, cumin, and black pepper – which give off a special smell, another of the captivating characteristics and a way to attract the minds of the audience to the present in a kind of olfactory meditation.

The work was inspired by the spiritual connection with nature described and practiced by the Huni Kuin people of the western Amazon in Brazil. Neto has worked with them since 2013 and their values, their sense of community, and their crafts have been the inspiration for the artist in his most recent works.

arbol1

<p“An art work is a poem. This is a public space and this work is all about intimacy. It’s a big work but everything comes from a little, one knot after the other,” explained Neto in a video about the installation. The paradoxical quality of the sculpture is thus revealed: in its capacity to face both the massive and the intimate, the enormous and the small, the natural world and the urban environment.

A sculpture made of knots, the Gaia Mother Tree is an imposing tree of some 20 meters, a temporary installation whose very existence is an invitation to slow down your pace, your time, and to breathe, to see beyond your own setting, governed as it is by clocks and schedules.

 

 

 

Images: Fondation Beyeler