Nina Sumarac Jablonsky
THE FOREST BY ARBOREAL COLLECTIVE AND LAR @NeMe
The Arboreal Collective, in collaboration with the Lab for Animation Research, are presenting their first project entitled The Forest at the NeMe Arts Centre.
Exploring the anatomy of selfhood through nature and technology may at first glance seem contradictory due to a long-standing narrative within contemporary culture that often focalises on a regressive relationship between science, the natural world, and people. Taking this as a point of departure, The Forest proposes a collaborative space that reimagines this relationship via an altered, modern, more hospitable lens that invites intimate expansion through healing.
Redressing imbalances on a cellular level is in some respects akin to the slow art movement philosophy, which calls for audiences to develop a more mindful relationship with art. In this vein, the project invited contributions by Cypriot and international artists that suggest gradual changes in these perspectives via an exhibition, educational talks, and interactive workshops. As a comparative study of people and trees, this exhibition continues to explore humanity and its complexities within the context of nature. Utilising new technologies such as artificial intelligence alongside a long-standing love of trees to create these conceptual transplantations, the project holds space for vital experiments to be made between the oldest and newest living beings.
Recent scientific inquiry is aligning itself with a long-established belief in the sophisticated communication network, with which trees engage to sustain and nurture each other. As social beings, they behave collectively and protectively. Trees have a language, family, sensory capacities, live in symbiosis with other species and climatic influences, and can count and remember. This vital discovery of plant intelligence could provide some answers to many of today’s environmental challenges. As a means of exploring the nurturing potential between humanity, nature and technology, this exhibition gives equal weight to all three by interweaving the narratives they convey through a primitive/scientific discourse that comes at a crucial time in which we all need saving. Dr Frosoulla Kofterou
PHOTOS FROM THE OPENING:
Curator: Arboreal Collective Participating artists: Alexia Achilleos, Negin Ehtesabian, Helen Kirwan, Patrick Lichty, Charalambos Margaritis, Xristos Panagiotou, Nina Sumarac Jablonsky, Nicos Synnos.
Climate Change and Forests Saturday, 12 March 2022; 11am-1pm
Dr Milto Miltiadou from CUT and Natasa Ioannou from Friends of the Earth Cyprus will present the current research on the public focusing on “Climate Change and Forests” conducted as part of the ASTARTE (EXCELLENCE/0918/0341) project since 2021. (Moderator: Dr Eliza Patouris)
We, Trees Saturday 26 February, 2022; 11am-1pm
A two-part guided workshop inside Nina Sumarac’s digital forest was installed in the gallery space. This begins with a meditation practice led by the performance artist Elena Gavriel, followed by a drawing session with Sumarac herself. This workshop is an extension of the exhibition’s aim to encourage people to re-engage with nature through practices that inspire reflection, imagination, and channeling, modeled on the life of trees. Pressing against the COVID-19 cacophony, this workshop transplants participants into the oldest community of beings, amplifying new pathways to thinking, being, and communicating via the technological lens that has become our ‘new normal.’
Exhibition opening: 19:30, Friday 25 February 2022 Workshop: Saturday 26 February, 2022; 11am-1pm Seminar: Saturday, 12 March 2022; 11am-1pm Exhibition duration: 25/2/2022-11/3/2022 Opening days/times: Tuesday-Friday, 17:30-20:30; Saturday,
Thanks Main Funder: Cyprus Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Support: Lab for Animation Research (LAR) within the Department of Fine Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology; Eugenia Francesca Soncini, Italy; Medochemie; AlphaMega; Research and Education in Social Empowerment and Transformation (RESET) Limassol, Cyprus; Friends of The Earth, Cypru