This project invites viewers to recognize and honor the profound interdependence between humans and trees. By engaging with trees, whether through mindful observation or touch, we can attune ourselves to their slow rhythms and draw upon their ancient, life-sustaining energy. This symbiosis not only enhances our well-being but also deepens our appreciation for the silent, steadfast presence of trees in our lives. Through my art, I seek to celebrate this intricate dance of existence, encouraging a renewed sense of respect and empathy for the natural world.
It is commonly assumed that plants consist of soil – for example, that the tree in front of your house is mainly composed of the earth in which it grows. However, this is a widespread misconception – at the core of this tree lies one of the gases in our atmosphere: carbon dioxide, and water, i.e., hydrogen and oxygen. Trees are pure air and sunlight!
Plant leaves absorb sunlight and use this energy to obtain carbon from the air in the form of carbon dioxide, combining it with oxygen and hydrogen from water to form sugars and other complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates also consist of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, such as cellulose, which is the main component of roots, leaves, and stems.
Now, imagine that gases and solar energy are transformed into trees and then decomposed, turning into soil. Thus, the Earth increases in volume very slowly.
Vitruvian tree / Roots & Branches 2024
Young saplings are unable to saturate the soil with water. Forestry advertisements showing loggers replanting cleared areas with saplings create a completely false impression of the impact of new plantings on the water cycle. Perhaps they are replacing old trees with new ones, but there is a ten-year gap in the water cycle.
By destroying thousands of tons of biomass – mature trees and their inhabitants – and replacing them with saplings weighing just a few ounces, they are doing virtually nothing for the downwind regions, which are in such dire need of atmospheric moisture and abundant rainfall. Even when the trees grow to the size of their predecessors, the ecological diversity of the region, as well as its natural flora and fauna, will already have been destroyed, as loggers use saplings of one species instead of the many plant species that existed previously.
Empathimeter / Roots & Branches 2024
The pain of separation from beloved surroundings / Roots & Branches 2024

Why are roots more important than other organs?
Perhaps here lies something akin to the brain of the tree. They can learn, and therefore accumulate experience, so somewhere in the organism there must be a corresponding place for this. We don't know where it is, however, roots would be best suited for this purpose. Firstly, the underground part of the tree, being the first to sprout from the seed, is the most long-lasting – where else to store important information for a long time? Secondly, until now, it was considered indisputable that any activity is regulated chemically. Humans also have many processes regulated chemically – through neurotransmitters. Roots absorb substances, transport them further, conduct photosynthesis products back to their fungal partners, and even transmit signaling substances to neighboring trees. In our understanding, this requires neuronal processes, that is, not only signaling substances but also electrical currents. And it is precisely such currents that have been measurable since the 19th century. At the tip of the root, there are structures resembling a brain. Along with signal conductors, there are separate structures and molecules here, similar to those found in animals. When the root feels the soil ahead, it can perceive irritations. Researchers measure electrical signals processed by roots in the contact zone, leading to behavioral changes. When roots encounter toxic substances, impermeable rocks, or overly moist soil patches, they analyze the situation and make necessary adjustments to the growth zone. After that, it changes direction and sends shoots around the critical soil area. Can we see here, among other things, signs of intelligence, memory capacity, or emotions?
Wouldn't this understanding blur the boundaries between plants and animals? The division into "plants" and "animals" is arbitrary anyway; it was made based on the type of nutrition: the former carry out photosynthesis, the latter consume living organisms. Ultimately, serious differences only concern the time it takes to process and transform information into action. This creates a significant gap in understanding between us, and thus in empathy. And due to long observations by humanity, enough information has been accumulated to indisputably establish how similar they are to animals.
Urban trees, often compared to the homeless children of the forest, struggle to survive in urban landscapes. Their roots, confined to compacted soil and infrastructure, often lead to conflicts with underground utilities, resulting in disturbances such as street flooding. Experts are resorting to analyzing root samples to identify the culprits. For an excursion to the fabulous under-the-sidewalk land, the culprit will be punished with death - he will be cut down, and his successor will receive a preventive measure in the form of a built-in fence that prevents the growth of roots.
The citizens / Roots & Branches 2024

How do trees communicate?
Through scents. If not immediately, then after some time, or rather, at the speed of a tree's thought, a human understands the message. The main reason for the difficulties in understanding lies in the fact that trees are slow. Their childhood and youth last 10 times longer than ours, and their total lifespan exceeds ours by at least five times. Active movements, such as leaf unfolding or shoot growth, take weeks and months. Therefore, trees seem to us frozen, almost as immobile as stones. It's not surprising that many of our contemporaries see trees as nothing more than objects. However, some processes under the bark occur much faster. For example, water and nutrients, the "blood" of the tree, move from the roots to the leaves at speeds of up to one centimeter per second.
Burning / Roots & Branches 2024

How do trees breathe? You can see part of their "lungs" yourself – it's the needles or leaves. On their underside, there are tiny pores-slits that look like small mouths. Here, oxygen is released, and carbon dioxide is absorbed – and vice versa at night. From the leaves to the roots through the trunk – it's a long way, so the roots also breathe. Otherwise, deciduous trees would suffocate in winter when their above-ground "lungs" fall off.

As a result of the frequent fires in the 2019-2020s, which damaged large areas of the Earth's forest cover, a virus emerged, affecting the human respiratory system – Covid-19. This was yet another sign of an obvious fact – the human respiratory process is part of the exchange of substances between humanity and trees. What trees exhale, we inhale, and vice versa.

Forest air is the embodiment of health. The air under the trees is indeed significantly cleaner because they function as powerful filtration systems. Leaves and needles are constantly in the air flow, catching both small and large particles of suspended matter. Trees not only filter the air but also add something of themselves to it. These are aromatic signals and, of course, phytoncides. One of the reasons for our well-being in the forest is the cocktail of tree language signals, at least in undisturbed forests. The reason lies in the fact that natural forests emit fewer "alarm signals" but more messages of well-being, which reach our brain through the nose. Try it yourself sometime! However, due to artificial tree plantings, trees have ended up in regions where they wouldn't naturally grow. Here they face serious difficulties, and spasmodic aromatic signals circulate between the crowns – trees literally "appeal" for help and deploy their chemical arsenal. With every breath you take, you inhale all of this into your lungs. Is it possible that subconsciously you could register their anxious state? And since our Stone Age ancestors were always in search of an optimal environment, it would be reasonable if we could intuitively sense the state of what surrounds us.

In favorable conditions, the seed, as if exploding in space, initiates a very slow flow of transforming energy, lasting as long as the tree's life, turning light and air into a soil. By touching them, humans come closest to the funnel of this flow. When we lean our spine against the trunk, we also connect with the Earth's electromagnetic field in the invisible spectrum. Thus, humans can draw low-frequency energy and information from the Earth through the roots and high-frequency energy from the atmosphere through the tree's branches. The ascending and descending flows in humans were formed in our experience of ancient lives in the form of trees. It is recommended to mentally communicate with trees. Choosing the most attractive one, place your spine and palms on the tree and mentally attune to it. Slowing down your breathing and making yourself more still allows you to approach the speed of trees and understand them more clearly. Remember to do this with love. Try to mentally befriend this tree. It is best if it is, for example, on the nearest road to work or not far from your home. If you practice, you will suddenly begin to notice the life rhythm of the tree – as if you are gently swaying. Then you will feel the energy flowing into you – pure, refreshing, and healing. And if you observe this phenomenon, then a couple of times a day for a few minutes each time spent communicating in this way with your woody friend will be enough to energize you for the whole day.

This monotype took as long to grow as a real tree.
After the appearance of this idea, I searched for such a tree for several years in several countries, in forests and islands and finally found it in Lankaran. Then after lying in the stock for about a year, and even exhibiting in a different form in Tbilisi, I stumbled upon this frame created by nature and human as a part of the nature, and it found its final state.
I am very doubly grateful to Dilara for my meeting with this tree and this frame.

International group exhibition
"Exhibition in the flat for sale"

Open Art House / 27.08.2022 - 06.09.2022


Bizimkiler fest

Passage 1906 / HandiCraft Baku / 16.12.2022

My gratitudes to

Sharaf Naghiyeva
Dilara Taghiyeva
Anastasia Kesler
Peter Wohlleben
Ludovico Einaudi
Ilya Grishakov
Ongoing project
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