Ghost Forest has arrived in London, from Ghana, on its way to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Ten eerie and massive tree stumps are lying in state in London's Trafalgar Square, a bit like fallen warriors. The show, designed to raise awareness about the depletion of the rainforest, has been put together by an artist, Angela Palmer.
The tree trunks are huge and many have their roots still attached. They come from nine different types of trees: mahogany, denya, dehuma, celtis, wawa, hyedua, danta, and dahoma. They were chosen from a regulated commercially logged primary rainforest in Ghana and transported here by crane, truck and boat.
The legally logged trees will highlight deforestation in countries like their native Ghana. Palmer chose trees from that country because it has lost 90% of its virgin rainforest but the government has now changed its ways and is regulating its logging carefully.
The Ghost Forest tree stumps - most of which fell naturally in adverse weather conditions - come from the Suhuma forest reserve in Western Ghana. The exhibition shows how selective logging works because it includes 3 logged stumps whilst the rest are naturally fallen trees complete with their massive root systems.
These look like wildly shaped nerve endings .
Choosing and transporting the stumps from Ghana was not easy. Trucks broke down, elders had to be called to perform traditional blessings and the arrival and installation in the middle of a huge city had to take place.
And what does it all mean? Angela Palmer says: 'Many observers will see the stumps as beautiful sculptural objects; others will perhaps see the installation as a scene of devastation. Others may see the tree stumps posited in the no-man's land between the past and the future. For others the installation may represent an overt piece of political activism - a call to arms. I am equally comfortable with all responses.'