Ghost Forest in London’s Trafalgar Sqaure?

There is a growing list of cultural activities planned for the Copenhagen Climate Change summit in December, not so much in Ireland but more in the UK and Europe. See the RSA Arts for COP15 site for more info – you can join this site if you are creating work/exhibitions or just interested.

Probably the most visually striking  and poignant work would have to be Angela Palmer’s Ghost Forest that appeared in London’s Trafalgar Square today and which will later be moved to  form a centrepiece exhibit during the Copenhagen Climate Summit. It’s stunning to think that an artwork is being used and inserted into the heart of a capital – often, it’s hard to judge how effective art can be in effecting change but this work is already hitting newspapers and the internet sites around the world.

Ghost Forest by Angela Palmer

Ghost Forest by Angela Palmer

Like all art, Ghost Forest can be appreciated or interpreted in many ways and on many levels – no response is right or wrong. Many observers will see the stumps as beautiful sculptural objects; others will perhaps see the installation as a scene of devastation – perhaps evoking Paul Nash’s rendering of the stark landscape of the First World War where only the splintered tree stumps remain in the devastated land. Others may see the tree stumps posited in the no-man’s land between the past and the future – the past representing the life and growth of these trees, their potential, and what they provided biologically for the planet; while the future may signal, for some, an imperilled world, as the consequences of deforestation continues apace – another ‘New World’. For others the installation may represent an overt piece of political activism – a call to arms. I am equally comfortable with all responses. Many thinkers maintain that all art is political; politics touches all aspects of our lives. Life is about politics. And art is about communication, often transmitting unpalatable truths. As one artist commented: ‘I don’t think artists can avoid being political. Artists are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. When we stop singing, it’s a sure sign of repressive times ahead – Angela Palmer


I won’t be seeing Ghost Forest in Trafalgar but in Copenhagen!!!! I’ve decided to attend the Culture/Futures 3 day symposium of Art/Ecology and Policy from now to 2050. Though I thought at the beginning of the year I would love to be a witness to the Climate Change Summit, I didn’t think I had a good reason to travel. Never thought there would be a an indepth discussion on art and ecology so I am glad to be going to take part. Will be reporting back, so.

Thanks to all who wrote in and saw my film; it didn’t get short-listed but it brought me a lot of comments and ideas for future endeavours. It never really had a chance as its so hard to compete with films made or featuring children or cats? see the short list here. However, it seems they will be showing some films that didn’t make the short-list, so I’ll let you know if I see it on a street corner in Copenhagen.

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