By Georgina Wilson-Powell
FOR FOREST-The Unending Attraction of Nature brings trees to the terraces this autumn.
Artist Klaus Littmann is creating a central European forest of 300 trees within the Wörthersee football stadium in Klagenfurt into Austria as an enormous public art installation.
The work puts trees and our view of nature firmly in the spotlight instead of soccer stars and people will be able to view the forest during the day and night and watch the turning of the autumn leaves, as if it was a sporting fixture.
It’s based on a drawing from 1937, The Unending Attraction of Nature, by Austrian artist and architect Max Peintner, that Littmann discovered almost thirty years ago.
According to Littmann, FOR FOREST, also provokes the feeling of a future memorial for nature and the fact we so often take it for granted. One day, he points out, we might be reduced to viewing ‘nature’ in this way, in designated urban spaces, much like animals in a zoo.
16 varieties of trees will be used in the forest, which were selected from tree nurseries in Italy, Germany and beyond. They were transported to Austria on lorries already on existing routes and have been cared for locally for the last six months.
The trees were selected by renowned landscape architect Enzo Enea, and have been chosen to recreate the mixed forest that once thrived in Austria before industrialisation. One of the issues explored by the project is how what we consider to be nature is not actually natural, but monoculture cultivated for profit by industry.
Once this incredible art installation is finished, the trees will be replanted locally as a permanent feature near the stadium.