Angela Palmer: Ghost Forest

12 11 2009

From November 16-22nd, Trafalgar Square will be converted into a tropical rainforest as Angela Palmer exhibits these giant  trees from a commercially logged tropical rainforest in Ghana, and attempts to raise awareness of the connection between deforestation and climate change.

Angela Palmer

I first read Angela’s story in the Financial Times, 9 October 2009:

“I blame Hong Kong Telecom. When I lived in the former colony, its vans bore the words: “What can be imagined, can be achieved.” ‘

The idea

The latest scientific reports on climate change are now my bedside reading. Even nights off are scientifically infused. Attending the first “Sustainaball” in aid of environmental charity Earthwatch, I dress as a sunflower and meet Andrew Mitchell, an old friend and a dashing scientist who has been banging on about rainforest trees for the past 30 years. He runs the Global Canopy Programme and is one of Prince Charles’s advisers. He scares the pants off me with statistics: a tropical forest the size of a football pitch is destroyed every four seconds; that means, he says, that an area twice the size of Belgium is lost every year. He suggests I should recreate a rainforest tree by drawing its rings on to multiple sheets of glass. Why distance people from the real thing, I reply. Why not bring a real rainforest tree into the centre of London and show what mighty beasts we are destroying every second? And so my obsession develops a specific focus: I will find a commercially logged rainforest and persuade the loggers to give me some tree stumps to present as a “ghost forest”.

But it is not until Antony Gormley says the project can’t be done that I really get the bit between my teeth. I am sitting next to the artist at dinner at my old Oxford college, Exeter, where he is installing a bronze sculpture of himself on the roof. I tell him I am planning to bring rainforest tree stumps, complete with their massive buttress roots, and place them smack in the middle of London. As the stunt would reach millions through worldwide coverage, I feel it would justify its carbon footprint. Impossible, he says. And who can blame him?

Read the full article here, visit http://www.ghostforest.org and http://www.angelaspalmer.com for more information on the exhibition and the artist.

ghostforestalow

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5 responses

17 11 2009
wanida

Ah. If you are in/around London I would encourage you to see the installation in person. It was stunning. The light was wonderful yesterday and I took some pics on my iPhone. I was surprised at how well they came out.

18 11 2009
MyMetropole

I’d love to see your pics! Send them over my way and I’ll post them if you’d like!

18 11 2009
wanida

Hi. Those pics are on my yfrog page here

23 11 2009
Ghost Forest by Angela Palmer, Trafalgar Square : The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts

[…] seemed to be as much about Palmer’s struggle to realise the work, with Antony Gormley saying “the project can’t be done”, as they were about the issue of deforestation and simply added a level of  Fitzcaraldo-in-reverse […]

23 11 2009
News Room :: Ghost Forest by Angela Palmer, Trafalgar Square

[…] seemed to be as much about Palmer’s struggle to realise the work, with Antony Gormley saying “the project can’t be done”, as they were about the issue of deforestation and simply added a level of  Fitzcaraldo-in-reverse […]

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