Eternal Forest

Eternal Forest

The idea of ‘Eternal Forest’ is to rethink our relationship with the forest, reconnect and transform community through an art project, engaging in active participatory co-creation. The project takes place in Gois, Portugal, which suffered unprecedented fires in October 2017 due to decades of unsustainable forestry practices and widespread eucalyptus monoculture in Portugal. As an artist and human I cannot ignore the situation of large-scale deforestation, unsustainable monoculture based forestry and increasing danger of uncontrollable fires.

Since ancient times forests have provided us with incessant riches, inspired reverence and even belief in supernatural powers. We were reliant in our survival on the forest sustaining and supporting us. Forests, a place with seemingly endless source of life’s abundance have been turned into deserts and monoculture tree plantations.

It is the time for us to reconsider our interaction with the forest. The objective of the project is to open a conversation among people. Through raising awareness and creating sense of ownership of the land we could begin to look for solutions to the challenges facing forests in Portugal.

Forests exist on a different timescale than humans. They grow slowly, their lifetime that of hundreds of human lives. I would like to explore the deeper notion of time within which forests exists, and reflect my findings through a series of visual poetry works, performance and site-specific installation.

In the past three  years I have been exploring subject of time, its perception in cultures, through history, philosophy and science. ‘Time Wave’ project is a series of investigations through poetry, artist’s books, performance and installations works. It will result in an exhibition and a book in 2020, and ‘Eternal Forest’ will form part of it.

As part of Raizvanguarda art residency in Gois I work for 6 weeks to realise this project. The project involves working closely with the local community, capturing memories, stories and visions for the future, and an art installation inside one of the local natural forests.

I will invite people to recall and share their stories of the forest, I will attempt to bring community to the forest, with invitation to listen and hear the voice of the forest. A site-specific art installation, a ‘time capsule’ will represent a snapshot of the voice of the local community, based on these stories.

The poetry for the ‘time capsule’ of the installation will be written by myself, as a message to the future. The installation will be created out of recycled local cork. The dream is that the generations of people who will open the capsule will be standing among grand, lush green trees experiencing the moment which connects them to the present and past.

The project is intended as a long-term durational piece, tapping into the idea of longevity of the forest, sustainable foresting and guardianship from the local community. This ensures continuity of the art project and hope of local community reconnecting to the forest on a deeper level.

Alongside the site-specific installation and a gathering in the forest, drawings, poetry and calligraphy created during production of the project will be exhibited in one of the spaces in Gois. Community’s stories will be collected and edited into a video film which will be shown at the theatre in Gois as well as online, spreading the message worldwide.

Evgenia Emets

You Might Also Like