Site-specific series, printed fabric, tree cuttings, cobblestones, LED lights, sound
“Tree of Heaven” is a site specific series of works created for the exhibition "Marvellous Eruptings in the Everyday" at SAP Space in Berlin, Germany, curated by Sarah E. Davies. It takes as its starting point the large tree in the garden at SAP Space and it’s many offshoots: lat. Ailanthus altissima, otherwise known as Tree of Heaven, an invasive species commonly found in Berlin. Exploring the resonant and acoustic qualities of the wood, branches and leaves, Tree of Heaven is a site-responsive and iterative installation, exploring mimetics and repetition involving found objects, tree specimens, sound and printed mesh fabric hanging in the garden showing fragments of the invasive tree layered over the tree itself.
Since the exhibitions beginning, many of the seedlings have been removed by the Hausverwaltung in an effort to get rid of the invasive species. Curiously, the largest tree in the center of the garden was not cut down. Known as the “Ghetto Palm” in the Eastern United States, the Tree of Heaven originates from China, and was brought to North America and Europe as a quick-growing ornamental shade tree for private gardens and backyards in the late 18th century. The fast spreading tree propagates through seeds and an aggressive rhizomatic root system, in addition, it sends toxins into the surrounding earth, inhibiting the growth and spread of other plant species. It is the most invasive tree species in the northern hemisphere.