A tree stands strong within a field; both feet rooted in the soil. Branches reaching further; stretching out and finding light. A fracture rips deeper into skin and wood cracks under weight: I split. Detached, the limb falls to the ground. At once a log, a twig, a tree? Came apart and now adrift. Am I the one who looks at me or the one who has been seen?

In 2020, during the first months of lockdown, I found myself wandering into the forest on a daily basis. I was seeking comfort in the solitude of my walks and the greenery seemed to calm down my soaring anxiety. While being forced to isolate from others, I started to follow signs of human presence within the forest. I felt compelled to retrace someone else’s intervention in the landscape and at the same time create my own. I would build various little compositions made from chopped wood remnants throughout the weeks, thinking people might notice them on their own meditative walks.

Human intervention has caused a significant impact on the planet, leading to the destruction of wildlife, ecological systems and climate change, and yet we seem to turn to nature to seek comfort in moments of hardship. Through modes of attention and play, wood logs, twigs and tree stumps become totems of the symbiotic relationship between an individual and the landscape.

Now, coming out of the pandemic this body of work reminds us of the extensive soothing properties that nature can offer to our mental health. In turn it becomes most apparent that it is our collective responsibility to nourish the landscapes and wildlife in order to preserve not only the planet but our own sanity.

The project was supported by the Gane Trust.

© Angela Blažanović, 2023