Ghost Forest in Copenhagen
Deutsche Bank Sponsors Art Project During Climate Change Conference
||A surreal scenario on Trafalgar Square in London: large tree stumps are spread out around Nelson’s Column. Like nerve endings, their widely ramified roots protrude into the air. Whether they are viewed as sculptures or as symbols for the rapidly progressing destruction of nature – passersby are compelled to take note of the installation. Angela Palmer called her project Ghost Forest. The British artist couldn’t have found a more apt title for her project, whose main sponsor is Deutsche Bank. The ten tree stumps, which stem from a rainforest in Ghana, indeed look like ghosts, like the spirits of giant trees that once rose as high as Nelson’s Column only to end up as raw material for cabinets, flooring or coffins.
After being on view in London from November 16th to 22nd, the work will now be displayed on Thorvaldsens Plads in the Copenhagen Copenhagen city center concurrently with the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which takes place in the Danish capital from December 7th to 18th. While 11,000 delegates from 192 countries discuss ways of rescuing our planet, the installation will point to the rainforests’ tremendous importance for the world’s climate, and to the fact that every four seconds tropical forests as large as a football field are falling victim to saws or slash-and-burn agriculture. The stumps for Ghost Forest come from trees that were uprooted by storms or from sustainable forestry.
The preparations for the elaborate project took more than a year. It was not by chance than Ghana was chosen as the starting point: In the last 50 years the West African nation has lost 90 percent of its rainforests, 60 percent due to illegal deforestation. But in the last decade, with the support of the EU and the World Bank, great strides have been taken to protect the remaining forests and to establish sustainable forestry. This is not only benefiting the world’s climate but also the local population. For this reason, among others, the artist does not view her project as an apocalyptic vision. "It carries a message of hope and optimism for the future", said Palmer.
The successful link between art and climate protection convinced Deutsche Bank to become the main sponsor of Ghost Forest. "Our pledge to the project reflects the bank’s continued commitment to the issues surrounding climate change, explained Colin Colin Grassie, CEO, Deutsche Bank UK. "The installation captures the imagination, while making a bold visual statement about need for action and cooperation globally." Under the motto Banking on Green – Ensuring Viability, Deutsche Bank is participating in the worldwide fight against climate change. A current example is the renovation of the bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt. The largest building refurbishment project ever to be carried out in Europe will yield one of the world’s most environmentally friendly skyscrapers, with the building’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions reduced by at least 50 percent.