Baobab: Tree of Generations
A reflection on the dialogue between Man and Nature that starts from the miracle of the Baobab trees that grow in extreme conditions, inspires thoughts on the bond that connects us to the earth. These photographs push the viewer to linger on the power of the universe and the value of reciprocal exchange.
In some of the most arid and infertile regions of Africa, Madagascar, and Australia the Baobab tree grows to enormous size. These miraculous giants are one of the largest living things on the planet and have a potential lifespan of more than a thousand years. They are great friends to their human neighbors—providing an ever-renewing resource for textiles, netting, baskets and roofing. Their nutritious fruit has many medicinal properties.
I am intrigued by the role that these thousand year old giants play in the lives of its human neighbors. It is an enduring presence, perhaps older than the legends passed down from generation to generation, its roots deeply intertwined with daily life. The images in this exhibition reflect both the resilience and transience of life as I partner the Baobab with a person from the community: a grandmother, a grandfather, a young man, a young woman, a mother, a boy child, a girl child. My photographs celebrate an intimate co-existence. These trees were found in South Africa, Mali and Madagascar.
Maintaining cabinets of curiosities evolved during Renaissance and Baroque. In these collectors’ rooms precious artworks (artificialia), rare phenomena of nature (naturalia), scientific instruments (scientifica), objects from strange worlds (exotica), and inexplicable items (mirabilia) were preserved. They reflected the standard of knowledge and view of the world at that time.