Posts Tagged ‘Poland’

Crooked Forest Poland photo by Kilian SchonbergerAt a show many years ago, I had an old woodsman jokingly tell me that my trees were so twisty and crooked that he could barely get a board foot of lumber from them.  I can’t imagine what he would do with the trees that make up the Crooked Forest located in a corner of western Poland.

It is a group of about 400 trees all bent at 90 degree angles at the base of their trunks, creating a large timber “C” or “J” depending on how you look at them.  They are surrounded by a larger forest of straight trees.  They are believed to have been planted around 1930 but how and why they obtained their unique shape remains a mystery, one no doubt lost when the Nazis invaded Poland in the years after their planting.  The local village was decimated and not really repopulated until the 1970’s so there wouldn’t be any long lived locals to tell the tales of the trees.

Some theorize that German tanks somehow crushed the young trees but that doesn’t explain the surrounding forest that is undamaged.  Plus the idea of a group of trees uniformly surviving such a trauma seems pretty far fetched.  Others say it is the result of some strange gravitational anomaly but that sounds kind of iffy at best.

Snow? Again, why just this smaller group of trees of the same age as their neighboring trees?

Aliens?  Now, you’re talking.

Okay, maybe not aliens.  Actually, the most widely accepted theory is that the trees were deformed to provide curved timber for either furniture or, more likely, boat-building.  There is written documentation of trees being grown specifically to be compass timbers, which provide bracing for the inner curve of a boat’s sides.

Whatever the case, they make a unique and eerie sight.  The photos here are from photographer Kilian Schönberger.  For more of her visually striking views of nature please visit her site by clicking here.

Crooked Forest Poland 2 photo by Kilian Schonberger Crooked Forest Poland 3 photo by Kilian Schonberger

Read Full Post »

RedTree in Gdansk

RedTree Near Gdansk PolandI have often said that one of my favorite benefits from my job as an artist is hearing from people from all over the world who have seen my work.  It’s always gratifying to know that my work translates across boundaries and cultures, that it is not isolated in its appeal.  I was reminded of this as I was cleaning out my spam file this morning and came across an email there that didn’t seem to fit.

It was from Gdansk in Poland, from an architect/town planner named Joanna M. She had seen my blogpost on the works of Hans Memling and invited me to Gdansk to see  his The Last Judgment, his spectacular triptych which is in the National Museum there.

She then went on to tell me about her work as a town planner, saying that a current plan for a housing area there in Gdansk resembles  my paintings with the hills and paths and structures.  She also pointed out that they even had a red tree there.  as seen in the photo above which she included.  She said she is planning a pedestrian path that leads up this hill to the Red Tree.

I was tired this morning coming into the studio but finding this email brightened my day and reinvigorated me.  I have talked before about the idea that there are other eyes looking over my shoulder in the studio, urging me on.  It gives me inspiration and a sense of purpose, taking me away from my own selfish needs.   Those eyes make me believe that my work is part of a bigger community.   Thank you, Joanna, for lending me your eyes this morning all the way from Gdansk.  It is most appreciated.

 Dziękuję bardzo.

Read Full Post »

I recently saw a short film called The Chapel which is from filmmaker Patrick Kizny.  It is a high-def timelapse film that explores the interior of a decrepit Protestant church in Zeliszów, Poland, designed by  architect Karl Langhans and built in 1796-1797.  It has obviously been in a horrible state of disrepair for many years but Kizny manages to evoke the architectural beauty of the building with his moody film.  At first, I thought it was all computer generated, like a video game, but this is real photography.  And a great and real building.  If you are a fan of the art in great architecture, this is quite striking.

If you are interested in seeing how the photography and look of this film came about, I have included The Making of The Chapel below.

Thanks to Via Lucis, a terrific  site specializing in the photography of religious architecture,  for pointing out this film. 

Making Of The Chapel from Patryk Kizny on Vimeo.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: