Artist Plants Forest in Football Stadium To Make Statement About Deforestation

October 23, 2019 at 11:42 pm

If we keep losing trees at the current rate of nearly 20 million acres per year, they “could soon be a spectacle found on display in only specially designated spaces, like animals in a zoo,” artist says

A Swiss artist has planted 300 trees, many of them weighing more than six tons, in a 30,000-person football stadium in Austria.

It includes a variety of native European species such as silver birch, alder, aspen, white willow, hornbeam, maple and oak.


The out-of-place forest is meant to strike its audience as odd. The project serves as a warning:

“One day, we might have to admire the remnants of nature in specially assigned spaces, as is already the case with zoo animals,” artist Klaus Littmann writes on his website.

Considering we are losing 18.7 million acres of forest to agriculture and illegal logging each year, his dystopian vision may not be far off.

The living art installation was inspired by a 1970 drawing titled “The Unending Attraction of Nature.”

In it Austrian artist and architect Max Peintner depicted a dismal future in which humans became so detached from nature, they put small patches of it on display as if in a museum, not unlike endangered wild animals, which can now only be viewed in zoos.

Unfortunately, the stadium will not be the forest’s permanent home. The exhibit opened in early September and will be transplanted to a nearby park at the end of October. Until then, admission to the stadium is free.

“My objective is for this picture to remain in people’s head for a lifetime,” Littmann says.