A Love of Wild Trees (3/10)

I’ve been a lover of trees, and a lover of being in trees.

Up in trees.

And this is the third in a series, from http://tim.girvin.com/Entries/index.php.

I savor trees. And tree houses.

Tree houses have been widely explored under my watch. Some of them have been wildly dangerous, rickety and teetering; some of them have been abandoned, others, freshly constructed.

This began when I was a child — since we had one at our house — one that was progressively upgraded over the years by my father. It was a place to sleep in, read books in, imagine in, and dream of adventure in — a platform from which to climb up into the trees. And to fall out of trees from. I did that once or twice. But each time it was a kind of branch-swinging, trunk-drifting spin as I was caught on the limbs, till I fell to the ground. Boom.

So, walking NYC at night, I came across this grouping of installations at Madison Park. Freshly installed. Beautiful. Tree houses.

Madison Park is just across the way from my offices in NYC. This Park, just off Madison and Broadway, 23rd – 26th is getting a dozen tree houses perched high in its trees, courtesy of a Japanese artist known for his site-specific sculptural installations.

Artist and sculptor, Tadashi Kawamata, arrived at Madison Square Park October 2nd to begin constructing what he calls tree huts. Forklifts, boom lifts, table saws, power drills, and wood were spread around the 6.2-acre park just north of East 23rd Street between Fifth and Madison avenues for a full day. According to press commentary, each of the huts, resembling a child’s tree house, is unique — and installed out of the public’s reach.

And I might add, without “touching” the trees — they structurally adjoin beams to each other, but not the trees themselves.

Here’s what these treed installations look like, shot in illuminating contrast to the lit skyline of the spired edifices, nighttime, behind.

The tree houses represent the artist’s interest in how private objects in public spaces change the meaning of both. That gives all the more potency to the allegory of small huts, up there, arboreal vistas and the soaring buildings behind. Admittedly, they are grainy, pixelated in character — but I shot with what light I could find.

One tree house.

By some other treehouses, so to speak.

Interesting, the character of the treehouse. A place of hiding, secrecy, tree-life, being in beauty, immersed in the wash of oxygen, the scent of living and greenness. No wonder we love being in them.

Do you?

tsg | NYC
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Here’s a slide by…
Tree Huts is an artist-in-residency program of the Madison Square Park Conservancy. The exhibition opens October 2 and runs through December 31.
Mr. Kawamata’s last New York City public installation, “Project on Roosevelt Island,” was in 1992. For that artwork, the artist surrounded a derelict smallpox hospital on the island in the East River with a complex web of wood scaffolding.

Another treehouse:
http://www.o2sustainability.com/node/11

Other treehouses:
http://www.treehouses.com/treehouse/construction/home.html (and upcoming conference in Fall City WA)

http://www.treehouseworkshop.com/

The Cairns | Australia:
http://blog.thetourspecialists.com/the-canopy-rainforest-treehouses-and-wildlife-sanctuary.htm

South Africa:
http://www.openafrica.org/participant/sycamore-ave-treehouses

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