Evergreen trees are not something that occupies my thoughts much, except during the month of December when we scramble to find and decorate the perfect Christmas tree. Once we hit January first, it’s out the door and out of mind until the next year’s holiday season rears its head.
For people who live in the northern regions of the country, evergreen trees and forests take on a greater significance. Much of the economy is based on trees. Either through the pulp and paper industry or tourism, they are the gas that drives the economic engine. That dependency is what studio Perch wants to explore with their installation, North.
North is comprised of 41 fir trees suspended top down from a reusable structure. There are two messages for visitors with this particular installation. The first is the orientation of the trees. Suspending them upside down is meant to upend our expectations of a forest environment, making visitors rethink their interactions with the trees as they softly sway to and fro. The second takes place as the installation ages. The trees will dry out, and their needles will fall and carpet the sand. This is a reminder of the fragility of the natural world.
The intended outcome of studio PERCH’s North is for visitors to re-evaluate their relationship with the natural world and inspire a sense of guardianship and care for forests throughout the country, not only in the boreal regions. At the very least, the hope is that visitors will spare the trees that support not only the economy but entirety of the planet a passing thought beyond the framework for seasonal decorations and sparkling Christmas lights.
Winter Stations runs from February 20th to March 27th, 2017. Follow the boardwalk east starting at Woodbine beach.