Blaton & Rypson, Anthropologists in Art, present:
Arbophilia – the love of trees
by Cecylia Malik and Wanda Michalak
at WM Gallery
May 14th - June 11th 2011
Photographic duo exhibition
Opening: Saturday May 14th 17.00-19.00
Trees have always been the object of fascination. Better yet, as children, we couldn’t wait to clamber into the trees around us; big, wide, old, tall – they seemed to be put there especially for us to climb. Some of us have not lost the wonderment of this natural act, and continue to do so.
Cecylia Malik and Wanda Michalak are two such artists. And in the photographic duo-exhibition ‘Arbophilia’, they express their love of, and fascination for the natural world.
Cecylia Malik started climbing trees on September 25th 2009 as part of a rebellious performance project in public spaces. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s The Baron in the Trees, she continued to consistently climb a different tree top every day for 365 days. Every single day, she searched for a tree with a proper background and context in its surroundings, carefully choosing clothes to wear so that they could be a colouristic accent. While climbing trees, Malik experiences reality with all her senses, but the image she creates often becomes unreal.
The project was a diary of sorts; a record of the passing of time and the changing of seasons. Thanks to Facebook, the project also became a virtual public performance; gaining more and more fans and attention. As she continued to place her images on her facebook profile, her fans commented them live, sending pictures of themselves in trees and recommending trees they thought Malik should also climb.
It was also through Facebook that Cecylia Malik and Wanda Michalak were introduced by a mutual friend. Michalak immediately felt an element of recognition regarding her own art work. For the past 20 years, Michalak has consistently and insistently travelled the world, in search of paradise. In search of a primordial utopia in which she can immerse herself and find peace, beauty and silent, peaceful admiration. Whereas Malik dresses up for the tree-climbing experience, Michalak does just the opposite; stripping naked to become just another natural element within the landscape, becoming one with the landscape around her, becoming landscape.
It is this connection with nature that brought these two artists together in common arbophilia!