Applaud Art Exhibit for Encouraging Sympathy with Nature

sao paulo museum

Target: Henrique Oliveira, Featured Artist the at Museu de Arte Contemporanea da Universidade, São Paulo

Goal: Applaud his artistic effort to help museum patrons imagine what it would be like to be inside a tree

Art is a variable that can be assigned any color, texture, size or shape. It is this variability that has made it so important to human expression, for anything can be art and anyone can be an artist. In a world where things are changing and everyday people want to play a part in changing them, art can be a great way to contribute to spreading the word about important. An artist that embodies this well is Henrique Oliveira, who has recently completed an exhibit inviting people to imagine what being inside a tree might be like.

Located at the Museu de Arte Contemporanea da Universidade in São Paulo, Brazil this exhibit was constructed out of tapumes: a refurbished siding made out of recycled wood. Oliveira nailed this wood all along a massive framework made from organic materials to create an installation that does in fact resemble the root system of a tree. Taking full advantage of the space available to him, the artist went even further and made the structure large enough so that people could walk around and plunge into the world of the inner tree. The exhibit will be open to the public in November, 2014.

Many have observed how humans have become disconnected from “nature,” which has allowed us to exploit trees, our oceans, other non-human species and natural resources to the degree that we have. However “going back to nature” is not an option that is practical for everyone. Very little untouched wilderness remains. What we can do is attempt to understand what is left of it in order to help us appreciate its inherent value.

That is why art exhibits like Oliveira’s–simulations of what we think trees are like on the inside, of how we want to think about them–are so important. They can potentially re-connect us to the parts of nature that have survived to this modern day. Not everyone can be in Congress, lobbying to end deforestation, but everyone can support art exhibits like this one with the hope that change will happen if enough people learn about them and are changed by them. Thank artist Henrique Oliveira for helping change the way we see the world.


Dear Mr. Oliveira,

Thank you for creating a beautiful, interactive piece of art with your “Life as a Tree Root” installation in São Paulo. Exhibits like yours are essential to this and future generations, for they give people the opportunity to connect with trees beyond just seeing them as a resource to be exploited.

This is especially important in a place like Brazil, where according to an article published by BBC deforestation continues to remain a problem–increasing by 28% in recent years. Exhibits like yours give people the opportunity and hopefully the inspiration to connect with trees on a deeper level. This can in turn inspire governments to support more sustainable practices that do not result in the loss of the world’s precious remaining forests.

Thank you, Mr. Oliveira, for using your artistic gifts to help transform the way we see and interact with the world around us.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Dornicke via Wikimedia Commons

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