"Black Snake", 2020

Installation: sculpture with found electrical wire, beech seeds and shells, chimney brushes, photographs of Klenova forests, glass jar, seeds & pods, linen

 

Photo: “Beech floor” (Buk)

 

At the Indigenous led protests of the oil pipeline in North Dakota, #NODapl, USA in 2017-18, the term “Black Snake” became known to the international community. The Lakota tribes of the region, who have lived there for thousands of years before white settlers took their lands, had a prophecy that the “black snake” would come and threaten their lives and land, the Creator’s manifestation. This was the crude oil pipeline, that can destroy water sheds in moments if it breaks (which it has, four times since the protests started). Extraction of oil and carbon by-products from the earth, remove natural habitats and destroy the eco-systems that protect all life. This breeds and spreads virus, such as we are living with today: Covid-19. The beech tree, like all of the natural world, generously provides natural solutions and remedies on the floor we walk upon, ignored.

 

This piece is dedicated to those who lay in the hospital now with this virus, no fault of their own. And those friends in California who have lost everything: home, history, memory, in the recent fires, brought on by climate change.

Beech trees aerate the soil and distribute potash through their leaves. All trees will benefit from having a Beech in the vicinity. Beech leaves make an excellent stuffing for mattresses. Animals who thrive on Beech nuts include deer, thrushes, pigeons, bears, martins, squirrels, partridges and turkeys. Beech magic: find a twig of Beech and carve your wish or dream upon it.