Open-air art installations – in a public urban space – are a popular, welcome opportunity for people to have an inspiring encounter with art in their everyday life, in their own, familiar living space, outside of the gallery or museum rooms. Art in an unexpected location changes the supposedly familiar, often hardly consciously experienced environment. It invites you to take a closer look with a new perception, tempting you to think beyond everyday necessities.
The trees of the urban area, a green space in the city of Langenfeld, are now the subject of an extraordinary artistic intervention by textile artists Barbara Esser and Wolfgang Horn: Textile bands and complex thread compositions take possession of these woody often primal plants, whose soaring branches, together with the tangle of filigree branches and countless leaves, arch up to the treetops.
Webbings of different widths and colors are wrapped around voluminous trunks and, as geometric woven elements, enter into a dialogue with the organic forms of the plant. Just like strong, three-dimensional, colorful tree rings, they look like prominent rings that seem to give the viewer a symbolic impression of the age of the trees.
In addition to the natural branches, textile branches can also arise from the trees. Fan-shaped thread graphics, similar to thread guidance in weaving (in which a “tree” is part of the loom, by the way), give the trees a seemingly natural dynamism, and the interplay of trunk, branches, leaves and taut threads transforms the trees into unusual, rich sculptures. Also sculptural are the layers of belts, which sometimes transform the tree trunk into something resembling a column. But the textile layer adapts to the tree trunk, the natural form and the architectural element combine harmoniously. Lamellar-shaped surfaces give new impetus to perception, open and closed surfaces are created depending on their position.
The bright, intense and predominantly warm colors chosen by the two artists stand in clear contrast to their surroundings. Everywhere the color tones from white to yellow, orange and red flash through the green branches or radiate clearly towards the viewer from afar. As accents to be discovered, some green, geometric shapes are constructively inserted into the organic shapes. Green in the green, apparently similar to the eyes, but so completely different in terms of colour, surfaces and structures.
The sculpture – basically rivets and screw-free installations that do not damage the plants – consisting of the varied tree sculptures underlines the special qualities of the square, it plays with the trees and sets shape and color accents. Perspectives and visual axis are created that lead the viewer through the installation and highlight its special features. The place appears transformed to the visitor, he walks fascinated through an aesthetic textile world of art and nature, which can be perceived differently over and over.