Wed- Fri 1-5pm, Sat 11am-3pm
MYTH + FACT = PROPHESY. A series of interactions, installations and performances
Leo Devlin, Laura Graham
Ends 26 January 2013
According to the thirteenth century Icelandic EDDA
“The Ash YGGDRASIL endures anguish, more than men know. A hart gnaws it on high, it rots at the side, while Niohoggr devours it below”.
Ash die-back causes leaf loss, attacks and kills the crown of the tree and the sexual stage.
MYTH- YGGDRASIL the world tree, a motif present in several religions and mythologies, particularly Indo-European religions, Siberian religions, and Native American religions.
With the preponderance of trees in religious symbolism, particularly the Tree of Life, it has been suggested that the world tree is programmed into the human mind by evolutionary biology, hence the idea of a vast tree as the entirety of the world, is thus still implanted in our collective unconscious.
The ancient belief is that the Ash tree acts as an assimilator, a communicator helping humanity to absorb healing and knowledge. The Norse myth YGDDRASIL tells of the ash as the mighty world tree, which spans the universe; its roots in hell, its branches in heaven, and Earth at the centre. These three positions were known as the ‘Three Circles of Cosmology’, the past and confusion reign in Hell, the future and creative energy rule in Heaven, and the present, represented by Earth, lies in between the two, in flux.
FACT- January 2013 and Europe’s trees are dying with ash die back, oak sudden death and myriad other species of pest.
Installation view. Image: RORY MOORE PHOTOGRAPHY
What have we lost over the centuries by undermining ancient knowledge and the importance of myth? Walls that have been constructed by overarching cultural, religious and political influences, have not just physically removed us from the natural world, but have derailed our intuitive and actual understanding of nature and its importance. What defines space? Is it defined by what surrounds it? But what are walls? Are they integral indicators or are they limits of liminal space? And if myth entails a warning admonition where are we now?
In the process of a controlled deconstruction of the gallery space of PS², artists LEO DEVLIN and LAURA GRAHAM investigate and reconsider how the removal of parameters allow for an alternative experience of space and its meaning. As new spaces are uncovered and activated, an alternative, reconstructed interpretation of YGGDRASIL reveals itself and with it the debt we owe the trees.
Let us hope that the prophesy of the end of the world with the death of the world tree does not come true.