The state of our planet is unprecedented. Humankind stands at a crossroads where the decisions we take today will determine forever not only the way future generations will live, but also their very survival.
Since Eden, Nature has been subjugated to the service of Humankind. We believe this has resulted in a fundamental disconnect with Nature. Cage Tree symbolizes this disconnection by provoking a sense of discomfort on the part of the viewer, presenting as it does, a living entity confined within a structure redolent of confinement, restriction and at worse, penal detention.
The concept of confining plant life behind bars is novel. Our primary association with a cage is the holding of animals or human captives, one which immediately elicits our sympathy. Cage Tree uses the metaphor of the cage to excite similar feelings of sympathy by the entrapment of a symbol of Nature under threat: the tree, provider of shade and purifier of our air, but menaced by climate change.
This stark metaphor invites our primordial subconscious to aid the tree in its distress, empathizing with its capture and desiring its liberation from its plight.
Conversely, though, Cage Tree carries a message of hope. Light bars are symbols of the tree’s capture but also of aids to its growth. Moreover, as the tree grows it will eventually engulf the very symbol of its subjugation. Critical to this message is that despite what we have done to the planet, we still have the opportunity to reverse the damage we have done if we awaken to all the strategies and possibilities within our collective power and allow Nature to restore itself to its former glory.
Cage Tree is a light installation employing a cage-like structure that encloses a tree. Commisioned by the Yonge + St Clair Art Festival 2019. It is the latest creation in the ongoing Light Cage Series by Luvère Studio.