I recently had the chance to visit the botanical gardens in Bordeaux, France. As with many public spaces in this lovely city, this is a cool, green and spacious place to walk, ride or sit and enjoy a pleasant day.
However, I was rather taken aback to walk around a section of shrubbery to find a number of bronze statues sitting on a lawn. “Nothing really unusual in that” you might think…. but these were all sitting on a mound and protectively hugging a tree! The botanist/ecologist in me was immediately intrigued, imagining this to be a tribute to those who love large old trees and signifying wish to protect them in some way.
But not so!
This is a work of art called “Heart of the trees” by Jaume Plensa and is one of a collection of eleven cultural features that are scattered around the central section of Bordeaux. I did find a few of the others and will post them at a future date. Each was quite spectacular, yet they were also quite different to each other.
The caption on the information sign reads as follows:
“The work is composed of seven masculine figures, sitting on a mound of earth, their arms and legs wrapped around a living tree and covered in words. Through the protective figure of the tree, the artist plays on the metaphor of man’s communion with nature. For Plensa, the body is also a territory on which he inscribes words, the names of cities, writers and musicians, The figures here are tattooed with names of favourite composers.”
These men and their trees were certainly attracting attention, I was not the only one fascinated and intrigued by the whole display!
Would this display in a public garden have caused you to stop and investigate?