Biennial Taster – Joyful Trees

Artist Rick Scofidio and Lewis Biggs switch on the tree.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Arbores Laetae

Well we’ve had Turning the Place over so now we have Turning the Trees around. Rotation seems to be a theme. Officially titled Arbores Laetae or Joyful Trees, this amazing installation was launched yesterday exactly 1 month before the Biennial opens.

It consists of 17 Hornbeams formally planted in a grid pattern, at the heart of this landscape three trees slowly rotate. In place of the familiar movement of shade according to the rotation of the earth around the sun, here shade migrates at an artificial speed, transforming the familiar patterns of the natural world into artificial creations.

I hope the trees don’t get too confused, someone commented it would be confusing for dogs. It may only be there till the end of the Biennial or it may continue for a while longer.
The best place to experience the work is to climb up onto the mound and stand or sit under the trees but you can’t do that just yet as the new turf needs time to bed in. You just have to watch through the fencing at the moment.

There’s a video on Biennial’s youtube site which gives a good idea of the look and mood of the piece.


Its not an easy work to photograph, even Pete Carr was struggling yesterday but I see he captured a really good image eventually.