Pine Tree Balls : A Public Art Recipe from Various & Gould

Overstuffed yourself with crackers and holiday cheeseballs? Why not try making some of these to burn off those extra calories?

3 Kings Day is in the bag and Christmas is a fading memory and we still see those pagan trees tossed to the curb and rolling around in the winter winds, waiting to be picked up by the garbage truck, or lit on fire by adventurous teens. These drying Douglass Firs and Blue Spruce corpses occupy public space and are hard to ignore, so Berlin artists Various and Gould decided to treat them as the raw plentiful art materials that they obviously are.

Various & Gould. Berlin. January 2017 (photo © Various & Gould)

V&G decided to cleverly glom together big balls of the pointed pines – giant bon-bons of conifer, portly tumble-bushes of pine-scented orbs that function as stump-studded city air deodorizers. Passersby who discovered the green globes were filled with charm and a sense of wonder – or at least curiosity.

Various & Gould. Berlin. January 2017 (photo © Various & Gould)

“Every year, when the New Year starts and everybody tosses out their Christmas tree into the streets, which they’ve been loving, decorating and spending their money on just 2 weeks ago, we think, ‘What a waste of good and free art material!’ ” says Gould about their impetus for the new sculptural installations.

Taking inspiration from the kinds of harmless public space invasion that may remind you of Brad Downey or Fra. Biancoshock, Various & Gould are creating a dialog by simply rearranging existing elements to create something new to ponder. As you can see from our lead photo up top, Various is also exploring the experiential quality of a full-head immersion.

Various & Gould. Berlin. January 2017 (photo © Various & Gould)