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Among the trees at Hayward Gallery

As well as illuminating the beauty and visually arresting character of trees, Among the Trees invites us to consider trees as both symbols and living organisms.

Among the Trees is has opened at the Hayward Gallery and it invites us to understand trees as symbols and living organisms.

The exhibition is celebrating key works of art that reimagine how we think about trees and forests and features sculptures, installations, drawings, paintings and photographs. There is something for everyone in the exhibition and little people will delight in the areas they can touch and observe.

There are artworks that celebrate the soaring scale of trees including a monumental sculpture cast from a 2,000-year-old olive tree by Ugo Rondinone; a cinematic portrait of a 30-metre-high spruce tree by Eija-Liisa Ahtila; and a vast forest of trees constructed entirely from cardboard by Eva Jospin.

The exhibition is timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and will explore how trees have shaped human civilisation. Visitors will encounter images of Colombian rainforests, jungles in Japan, olive orchards in Israel, Scandinavian woods and an underground forest in South Africa.

Incorporating distinctive and often surprising perspectives, the artists in the exhibition question our conventional representations of trees in order to forge new ways of understanding our crucial and multifaceted relationship with arboreal life.

Ralph Rugoff, director, Hayward Gallery said: “At a moment when the destruction of the world’s forests is accelerating at a record pace, Among the Trees brings together the work of leading international artists who urge us to think about the essential roles that trees and forests play in our lives and psyches. Hopefully visitors will leave the exhibition with a renewed sense of appreciation for both the beauty and complexity of these indispensable organisms.”

Among the Trees will be divided into three sections. In the first, visitors encounter images of trees and forests that call attention to the complexity and connectivity of nature. The exhibition’s second section features works that play with the blurring line between our concepts of nature and culture.

Artists examine the impact of present-day human activity on nature, with industrial farming and the clear-cutting of woodlands.

In the final section, artists explore the theme of time. Reflecting seasonal changes and with life spans that far exceed our own, trees have long served in art as symbols for mortality.

Among the Trees opened at the Hayward Gallery on 4th of March until 17th of May and costs £13.50. More info and booking here.

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