The fabulous Andy Goldsworthy just recently blessed San Francisco's Presidio Park with one of his installations. Spire is one of the largest and most permanent of Goldsworthy pieces. It was created out of knocked down trees from Presidios reforestation efforts. The piece is designed to slowly disapear as the new forests grows around it. One day it will be just a little spike lost in the trees.
I've noticed trend amongst some of my favorite artists -- fantasy cities in forests and trees. Of course, everyone has the childhood connection to tree houses. However, I see this trend as a need to connect back to nature. In many modern cities it seems that we lost our connection to the natural world and many of us yearn to get that connection back. Most of us have grown accustomed to the every day comforts and luxuries that modern cities bring us. These artist renderings are a way to merge those two worlds, modern day luxury and nature combined in harmony - cities growing in the trees.
Also check out some crazy - actual tree house and tree house concepts at Inhabitat. Especially the treehouses from Free Spirit Spheres, they remind me of the scene in the Oompa Loompa village in the newer Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Also check out these renderings of the Green Towers, planned to be built in Seoul, South Korea.
Today I went to the see the Totoro Forest Project Exhibition at the Cartoon Art Museum. All the artwork from the exhibit was inspired by Hayao Miyazaki's movie My Neighbor Totoro. It includes artists from all over the world including some of my favorites like James Jean and Catia Chien, as well as many Pixar artists. The artwork from the exhibition is being auctioned of to raise money for Totoro No Furusto National Fund, a non-profit organization raising money to protect the Samaya Forest in Tokyo. It's a great exhibition with a great cause so you should check it out if you are in the area. It runs through February 8, 2009. They also were selling Art of Totoro Forest Project book, but sadly it was sold out before I could get my hands on it.
Here are some (only some - there are too many good ones) of my favorites from the exhibition:
Plane Spotting Spirit by Jason Sadler
Mossy Emerald Steps by Jenny Hansen
The Keepers by Jony Chandra
Dug by Khang Le
Dandelion Fairies by Kendal Chronkite-Shaindlin
When We Were Kids by Kinman Chan
Totoro of Their Own by Daisuke Dice Tsutsumi
Keeper of the Woods by Leanna Butcher
Water Giggles by Lorelay Bove
Blue in the Redwoods by Pete Doctor
The White Trail by Pascal Campion
Untitled by Noelle Triareau
Rescue by Noah Klocek
Enbu by Nishi
Blue by Nadine Takvorian
When I Whisper Totoro's Name... by Manuel Arenas
The Resting Place by Luc Demarchelier
Magical Clay Flute by Alina Chau
Untitled by Andrea Blasich
Whaling by Benjamin Plouffe
FNTA by Bob Pauley
Endless Journey by Catia Chien
Shedding by Clio Chiang
View from the Van by Lori Klockek
Rain Tree by Yoko Tanji
Teddy, Puff and I by William Joyce
Spies at the Pool Party by Wayne Lo
A Tree in My Garden by Veronique Joffre
I'm the Mountain, the Woods and the Earth by Tohru Patrick Awa
Untitled by Tianyi Han
Untitled by Tia Kratter
Jungle Eyes by Tang Kheng Heng
Dead Leaves by Tadahiro Uesugi
Tortorus Grandiflora by Sylvain Marc
Totoro Forest Project by Ricky Nierva
Off Stage by Hans P Bacher
The Gatherer by James Jean
One of Daughter Earth's main focuses is to help protect the wildlife and habitats of Sumatra. We donate funds from most of our shirts to SOS Orangutan's tree replanting project. Sumatra has a very unique biodiversity and is one of the worlds quickest disappearing forests.
A few days ago WWF sent out a press release Successes in Sumatra Bring Hope for Wildlife. The governors of Sumatra all came together in a meeting and are committed to restoring and protecting their natural resources. They are expanding Tesso Nilo National Park to more than twice its original size. They are fighting with paper industry giants to protect their land. The future of Sumatra's forests is looking up.
Some of the Amazing Animals of Sumatra...
This critically endangered rhinoceros that once roamed all of southeast Asia has only 6 substantial populations remaining, 4 of which are on the island of Sumatra. There are thought to be less than 300 individuals Sumatran Rhinos left in the world.
This otter is so rare that it was actually thought to be extinct in 1998 because there had been no sightings of it for so long. In 2005 it was rediscovered and since they have found few tiny populations of the Sumatran Otter.
The critically endangered Sumatran Tiger is one of the rarest subspecies of tiger who lives only in Sumatra's forests. There are less than 500 Sumatran Tigers remaining in the wild.
Because of its large size the Malayan Tapir has no natural predators. It is still in threat of becoming extinct because of human activity like deforestation for agriculture.
Not only does the Slow Loris suffer from habitat loss like the rest of it's Sumatran neighbors, it also suffers for being too cute. Yes, too cute, the Slow Loris is the victim of the terrible wildlife trade because people think they are so cute and would make a nice pet. For more information on the suffering Loris's face when they are made a part of the pet trade visit ProFauna Indonesia.
While the conservation status of the Sun Bear is currently unknown due to insufficient data it is also considered vulnerable because of its loss of habitat.
This unique looking bird is found only in the highest rainforests in Sumatra, Borneo, Java and the Malay peninsula.
The Sumatran Elephant is a critically endangered subspecies of the Asian elephant. It is smaller than there cousin the Indian elephant and found only on the island of Sumatra. There are thought to be between 2000 - 2700 Sumatran Elephants remaining in the wild. Over 80% of there habitat has been lost to agriculture.
The Bornean Clouded Leopard was just newly listed as its own species in May 2007 when scientists realized its DNA differed greatly from the mainland clouded leopard. The Bornean Clouded Leopards lives mainly in Borneo and Sumatra.
This endangered gibbon primarily lives on the island of Sumatra.
See Daughter Earth's new Gibbon Shirt, which will be available soon, below.
The Sumatran Rabbit is critically endangered and lives only in the Barisan Mountains of Sumatra. This rabbit is so rare that there have only been three sightings since 1972.
Want to help?
Here are links to some of the great organizations working to save Sumatra's forests.
You can also buy Daughter Earth products who proceeds benefit Sumatran Rainforests.
This "Daughter Earth" shirt, "Rhino Crossing" and "Peace Love and Orangutans" shirt are currently available at www.daughterearth.com.
These three new shirts, benefiting the Sumatran Forests, will be available by mid November at www.daughterearth.com.