TREETOPIA – Nature installation at Art Basel 2023
Enea has installed a forest of the future at Art Basel to bring discussions about climate change to the heart of the art world with the message that we need to save trees to save ourselves and our planet.
Open to all visitors at Art Basel, with free guided tours throughout the fair, Treetopia is an opportunity to encounter nature as a part of our busy daily lives – not as a world apart – and, in the midst of discussions about art and value, to also consider the value of trees and green spaces both for people and our planet.
With Treetopia Enzo Enea provides a vision of what could be, to show how green spaces can be integrated into even the most urban environments. In addition, he argues that it is crucial to save trees in order to save ourselves.
Trees are a natural power source: they cool buildings and their surroundings by creating shade and releasing moisture, prevent flooding, provide windbreaks, enhance soil, improve air quality, combat pollution, and provide a haven of life for flora and fauna around them.
As artists and the art world increasingly embrace sustainability and the natural world and consider how we want to live now, in an age of climate change, Treetopia provides a space accessible to all fair visitors for reflection and discussion.
Forest of the future
Today, green spaces are disappearing at a rapid pace, especially within our urban environments, yet the nurturing of green spaces has never been more vital. Treetopia showcases both resilient and future tree species and exhibits how certain plant species can counteract the effects of climate change and global warming in urban spaces.
Visitors can relax, feel, see and breathe the microclimate created beneath the tree canopies. The Rundhof courtyard’s forest of the future includes both Mediterranean and Alpine tree species. This is because as the climate continues to warm over the next 20 years – the growing time of an average tree – some of our native plant species will not be able to tolerate the higher temperatures. In their place, new plant species will need to be introduced that can withstand the higher temperatures and better integrate into changing ecosystems.
Trees and biodiversity
Treetopia consists of climate-resistant trees, namely the bald cypress, the Scots pine, the Persian ironwood, as well as the cork oak. Mature trees were used in the installation to emphasize the importance of their preservation and the priceless benefits they provide.
With the inclusion of understory planting of yew, grasses and wildflowers, the installation also points to the importance of hedges and meadows. They create valuable habitats for birds and insects such as bees and butterflies.