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Gola Hundun Creates a “Tree of Life” for “Land-Shape Festival” in Denmark

Posted on October 12, 2016

Virtually every human culture has an allegorical image that illustrates the Tree of Life. Street Artist Gola Hundun is growing his own in Denmark on the Jutland peninsula – one that he has named the Yggrdasil Crómlech.

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Gola Hundun “Yggdrasil Crómlech” Land Shape Festival. Vrå, Højeskole. Denmark. October 2016. (photo © Gola Hundun & Emil Schildt)

The Land-Shape festival in Vrå, a railway town of 2,500 people in the Hjørring municipality of Denmark, is inspired by the American Land Art movement that some trace back to 1960s minimalism and the growth of “installation art”. For many, this geological art hybrid is still a curiosity and Denmark is taking advantage of its rich coastal countryside by opening the land here to 50 or so artists such as street art culture-jammer/rural land portraitist Jorge Rodriguez Gerada, the performance/installation artist Sandro Masai and the color-mapping stone artist Maja Gade Christensen.

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Gola Hundun “Yggdrasil Crómlech” Land Shape Festival. Vrå, Højeskole. Denmark. October 2016. (photo © Gola Hundun & Emil Schildt)

The Italian Mr. Hundun has been creating earth science and pagan tradition-inspired hybrids of his own with murals, installations, and sculpture in the last decade and here he takes inspiration from the Norse mythology and its stories that were once more often told in this part of the world.

By combining the symbols of the Yggdrasil, a common name for the tree of life that you may see today in full-back or arm tattoos, and the Crómlech, a concentric circle typically made of standing stones, Gola creates the Yggdrasil Cromlech. In this case, the cromlech is more of a moat than a wall.

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Gola Hundun “Yggdrasil Crómlech” Land Shape Festival. Vrå, Højeskole. Denmark. October 2016. (photo © Gola Hundun & Emil Schildt)

Quite opposite of the Street Artist’s common expectation of ephemerality, Gola expects his new piece to grow into something magnificent over the next decades. “Yggdrasil Cromlech is a living piece, which every year will look different,” he tells us.

“In 3 to 5 years the climbing plants that I planted on the main structure will grow on all of the element, and in about 30-50 years the young trees will start to look like a column. The central part will be completely transformed by vegetation. It will be interesting to go and check the process from time to time. I promise myself to go and visit it every 5 years.”

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Gola Hundun “Yggdrasil Crómlech” Land Shape Festival. Vrå, Højeskole. Denmark. October 2016. (photo © Gola Hundun & Emil Schildt)

The current shape of the installation is already arresting, and you are invited to step inside the enclosure to experience the energy – you may not be alone however. “The underlying idea that inspires this project is to create a sustainable sanctuary for Jutland’s wildlife with a permaculture approach,” he says. “The installation’s goal is to increase resources for local fauna, especially during winter time but also in the summer season, providing food sources and opportunity for refuge.”

Inspired by Norse mythology and his own study of various designs of the Yggdrasil throughout history to design and construct the new and unique holy place/ art installation.

“The Yggdrasill is an immense tree that is central in Norse cosmology and it functions in connection to nine worlds which constitute the entire universe. My structure also has nine branches that symbolize these worlds.”

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“The Ash Yggdrasil” (1886) by Friedrich Wilhelm Heine

He speaks of the many depictions and variations of the Yggdrasil in history and cultures, and describes the one he is inspired by for this work.

“The Yggdrasill is populated by and related to the many animals that protect it, take life from it and menace it. On Yggdrasill’s top an eagle with a hawk perch inside his eyes, four deer between its branches, a squirrel moving up and down its trunk and a snake on its bottom.,” he explains. “In my piece Yggdrasil is the core of the Installation, and the audience can reach it by jumping on two step stones on the water ring that hug the structure. The structure has a small door that invites anyone who wants to get inside it, to find some isolation or a relaxing atmosphere.”

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Gola Hundun “Yggdrasil Crómlech” Land Shape Festival. Vrå, Højeskole. Denmark. October 2016. (photo © Gola Hundun & Emil Schildt)

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Gola Hundun “Yggdrasil Crómlech” Land Shape Festival. Vrå, Højeskole. Denmark. October 2016. (photo © Gola Hundun & Emil Schildt)

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Gola Hundun “Yggdrasil Crómlech” Land Shape Festival. Vrå, Højeskole. Denmark. October 2016. (photo © Gola Hundun & Emil Schildt)

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Gola Hundun “Yggdrasil Crómlech” Land Shape Festival. Vrå, Højeskole. Denmark. October 2016. (photo © Gola Hundun & Emil Schildt)

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Gola Hundun “Yggdrasil Crómlech” Land Shape Festival. Vrå, Højeskole. Denmark. October 2016. (photo © Gola Hundun & Emil Schildt)


 

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