The nourishing connection to this natural music has been jeopardized not only by the clamor of modern life, but by the ravages of pollution. Recently, I visited an art installation at Casa Planeta in Menfi, Sicily, which called attention to the current effects of environmental contamination while it spotlighted the beauty inherent in the natural songs of nature. Discorsi Dendros (Conversations About Trees) is the work of Pyka-Leone, married artists Ute Pyka and Umberto Leone.
Known for their work with the olive wood of Sicily, the twin souls Pyka-Leone are most identified by their sculpture ( and signature style) Eliotropiche. Derived from the natural movement of plants growing toward the sunlight, this style involves the artists’ saws cutting new veins into the woods’ grain to create spaces through which sunlight will filter - the same light which first nourished the wood during its growth.
For Discorsi Dendros, Pyka-Leone created sculptures emphasizing the beauty and natural form of the varied woods indigenous to Sicily such as olive, almond and orange. At the same time, each sculpture revealed the essential rapport between man and nature and the necessity and urgency of healing the rifts in this rapport. Walking through the sculptures, I sensed the vibrancy of life and nourishment we receive from trees. I also heard their music - the same sweet songs they sing to us when their roots dig through the earth and their branches reach toward the heavens.
Take a look at Discorsi Dendros: