Betula pendula is an ephemeral installation that took place in the Hedjuk Towers, in the City of Culture in Santiago de Compostela in 2018.
It reflects on the drama of the forest fires that frequently ravage the landscape in Galicia.
Despite Galicia being one of the regions of Europe with the largest forest masses, which is undoubtedly a factor on the beauty and identity of its landscape as well as an important source of wealth, every year with the arrival of summer there are strong waves of fires that devastate large areas of forests without anyone being able to understand and reverse this fatal situation.
The Betula Pendula intervention consisted on relating the dual character of the Hedjuk towers (glass tower-stone tower) as a framework for reflecting on the potential/beauty of forests and their fragility/destruction through fire. In a contraposition (life-death)
In a way the intervention explores the idea of inverting or turning around, as happens in the Hedjuk towers that the profile of the towers’ elevation, in which the gap between the two buildings is identical to the volumes but inverted. The management of the forests in Galicia that transforms an enormous potential for wealth into a very important environmental problem.
Glass tower: In the glass tower an inverted forest is created, hanging trees with the tops downwards from the roof. A large mirror was placed on the ground to give the visitor the feeling of walking on the treetops. The trees were planted in March, so the sprouting took place during the installation, resulting in a very dynamic and interesting installation to observe the evolution of the trees from this original perspective.
In the stone tower an intervention was carried out with burnt trees that were collected from forests that burnt down that year in the forests of Galicia. They were also hung upside down as a sculpture, taking advantage of the absence of light, a lighting installation was installed that cast shadows on the walls.