Materials: Bronze, Murano glass flowers, UTM certificate of moral ownership
Dimensions: 200 x 100 x 100cm
Exhibition history: 2015 Glasstress Gotika, 56th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta, Berengo Studios
Commissioned for the Venice Biennale international art exhibition Glasstress, Arboreal is a magnificent bronze tree onto which are carefully grafted five delicate glass seed pods, blown by the maestros at Berengo Studio in Murano, Venice.
This sculpture is the most recent addition to Lucy + Jorge Orta’s ambitious Perpetual Amazonia project. During an expedition to the Peruvian Amazon in 2009, the artists photographed hundreds of rainforest plant species, creating a personalised collection of florilegium they continue to add to today. Their photographs have since been transformed into different artworks, each accompanied by a certificate of ‘moral ownership’ assigned to a precise hectare of land in the Manú region of the Amazon. The hectare was divided by the artists into 10,000 one-metre by one-metre subplots, each identified by its Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) reference, which is registered on the certificate asigned to the artwork.
Through the Perpetual Amazonia project Lucy + Jorge Orta campaign to restore our focus to the world around us, both its beauty and its imperilled state. They strive to revive our deep enjoyment of nature and to convey its value to our daily lives. Arboreal is a powerful allegory of the fragile balance among the many thousands of species that depend on rain forests for sustenance.