Making "New World" (2020)

At first view it looks like a silhouette of a tree with an abstract sunset behind it. The tree itself is made from 81 pieces, all painted black, with a mix of mdf and aluminum. It is all put together with 157 bolts, 36 screws and 193 spacers, and weighs 47 kg. The pieces made from aluminum are industrial and geometric shapes and are painted with a glossy black. The pieces of mdf are organic parts and are painted with a matt black.

This is a collaboration between our artistic visions and is one of the most complex projects we have ever done. For me, it is certainly the most complicated relief I have ever made. There were so many pieces to keep track of and so many things that could have gone wrong. But when it all comes together like this it makes it all worthwhile.

This was a work long in the making. We first conceived of the idea back in 2012 and made it as part of an exhibition then. At that time, we made it with an orange background with hopes of painting it again at a permanent location. It did happen, but not for another eight years. During that time the tree itself had been stored in my garage and I was very happy so see it go.

You can view “New World” in a number of ways. You could see it as a symbol of how mankind uses natural resources to further technological advances. That it’s a power for good, to make things that make life better and opportunities more available for everyone. Or you could see it as a power for evil, where technology has gone too far and taken over the tree, and uses the energy of the tree as a parasite with no regard for anyone or anything.

When it came time to paint the new and final wall-painting we decided it would look better in blue. By now we have done this kind of wall-painting many times and we are beginning to feel like pros. It still takes a lot of time, and each project always comes with a new set of challenges. For instance, when the wall goes around the corner out method of making circles becomes impossible. So this time we had to make templates out of paper with careful measurements.

It took about a week to finish the wall-painting and hang the tree. The tree itself took a lot longer to make, but that was many years ago. And until this moment it looked like it had been for nothing. But I am very happy it now has a suitable home.