Saturday 24 April 2021

One Hundred Thousand Trees and a Forest of Thread

image by Eveline van Egdom
‘Honderdduizend bomen en een bos van draad’
("One Hundred Thousand Trees and a Forest of Thread")

Museum Panorama Mesdag exists for 140 years and the anniversary year starts with a special premiere: the artwork ‘Honderdduizend bomen en een bos van draad’ by textile artist Sara Vrugt is exhibited for the first time in Museum Panorama Mesdag.
For a whole year, Sara Vrugt worked with more than a thousand volunteers on a forest of one hundred square meters. The project arose from her concerns about the climate change. With an embroidered forest Sara wants to let people participate in the creative process and let them look at nature with different eyes. The black, semi-transparent cloth is hung in a spiral shape. That way you can walk along the colorful trees that are depicted in millions of stitches on the canvas, to end up in the middle.

The work of art will make a journey, the starting point is Museum Panorama Mesdag and the final destination is the garden of Museum Belvédère in Heerenveen in 2023. The work will be exhibited outside there to decay slowly. The seam of the artwork contains seeds that come from the indigenous seed bank of Staatsbosbeheer, so the canvas will turn into a real spiral forest and eventually return to nature.

The forest is shown in all its stages: young shoots, mature trees and dying stumps. The canvas is hung in a spiral form - Vrugt's variation on the panorama form - in which the visitor can wander. Scents and sounds will evoke memories. All senses are addressed. In contrast to the painted illusion of Mesdag's Panorama of Scheveningen - the painting that should not resemble a painting - Vrugt's panorama focuses on the tactility of the material and the visible handwork.

The forest is made of perishable material and seeds from the native seed bank of Staatsbosbeheer are added in the seam. As soon as the artwork reaches its final place in the garden of Museum Belvédère in 2023, the canvas will decay and the seeds will germinate in a new forest. The idea for this forest stems from the concerns that Vrugt has about the changes in the climate and nature. As an individual she feels powerless, but instead of observing passively, she has opted for a positive approach. 

100.000 bomen © Sara Vrugt – image Rogier Chang

Sara Vrugt, ‘Honderdduizend bomen en een bos van draad’, is on show until July 25, Museum Panorama Mesdag. More Information: 


100.000 bomen © Sara Vrugt – image Rogier Chang

100.000 bomen © Sara Vrugt – image Rogier Chang

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