Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tree Art: Carol Hummel

“Best of Luck, Nuclear World” builds upon the Indian tradition of wrapping string around Banyan trees for good luck and to make wishes come true.  Each day for 9 days, Carol Hummel wrapped this tree in the colors of the flags of the 9 countries that possess nuclear warheads.  As the strings are wrapped, the colors weave together to form a colorful fabric, an analogy about the hope that by interweaving our cultures, we can create something of beauty instead of destruction.  


The black (wo)man-made shadow seeping from the landscape serves as a portent of things to come by focusing attention on how human actions can drain life and vitality from the environment.  In an effort to counteract this drain, Carol collaborated with local village woman to crochet the shadow, adding vitality into the the local economy as well as enriching the lives of Carol and her new friends.


Trees connect us all no matter where on Earth we are living. They exist in our history, folklore, beliefs, and daily culture. It is a metaphor of life.  

The artist Carol Hummel's participation in the Bodhgaya project in Orissa, India featured the two artworks: "Tree Art" pieces "Best of Luck" and "Shadow Tree." The artist is in the East Coast Indian state of Orissa organizing an art/craft exchange with an amazing tribal village (www.riace.in). During the process she stated that she was "amazed how the piece resonated with the lower and middle class people who were my constant companions during the 9-day installation; they understood the concept instantly and applauded my efforts at promoting peace instead of war and we had many interesting conversations about politics."

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