Brazilian Artist Rouses Our Imagination with Recycled Wood Installation

Since the beginning of mankind, the awe and adoration of trees has had a powerful psychological and social foundation in human cultures.

Trees have always been, and continue to remain, universal totems, icons and symbols. To many, trees are more than just their wood, leaves and bark — they hold an extraordinary place in human consciousness. They act as sacred timekeepers as well as a foundation concept in understanding the natural world around us.

Perhaps one of the most astounding aspects of a tree are its roots, and how they serve as anchors — tightly gripping on to Mother Earth. They can grow to great depths, like a tree’s branches, always reaching out for more. Perhaps this is metaphoric to our own inner root systems, reminding us to always dig deep and be firmly rooted in our lives.

We are amazed with how Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira took the ethereal beauty of tree roots and created a monumental installation out of recycled wood.

The installation, titled “Transarquitetonica,” represents a system of massive tree roots that visitors can investigate from the inside. Having the opportunity to walk through Oliveira’s work is probably the closest we’ll ever get to exploring a tree’s roots.

Oliveira began construction of the work with a skeletal framework, then used planks of plywood to build the inner and outer layers of the root system.

The artist explains his epic masterpiece:

It’s wood that has been taken from nature, has been cut down into geometric structures, and they have been used by society and discharged. And I take it back and I rebuild forms there again, creating true nature forms. It’s bringing back the tree aspects to the material. It’s not just an object, it’s an experience.

Henrique Oliveira’s wood installation will be on display at the Museu de Arte Contemporanea da Universidade in Sao Paulo through the end of November 2014.