Taxus Baccata: una casa en el árbol
Sculpta Kw37 Residency
In collaboration with Rowena Buur
Arnhem- The Netherlands
Amid the pandemic isolation, we wandered about the concept of home and its relation between urban and rural landscapes—this project aimed to build a treehouse.
In the Kw37 wood workshop, we found a suitable branch to work. In preparing the wood, our fellow carpenter residents recognized it as a branch of Taxus baccata. Yew in English, in Spanish Tejo.
This tree has powerful religious connotations in Celtic and northern cultures. It is a symbol of the transcendence of death. It is a highly toxic species yet, taxol, an active component of the tree, has been used as a medicine for cancer due to its properties to inhibit cell’s mitosis. Old Taxus trees are found in cemeteries and churches around the UK, Ireland, Asturias, and Normandie. It has also been related to Ygdrassil, the tree of life. According to in Northern mythologies, an old yew tree sustains the nine different worlds that conform the universe.
Inspired by these discoveries and by the beauty of wood, we expanded our concept of home to the Oikos, the Greek root of the word Ecology representing a tree sustaining the world, a common home with its different possible planes of existence.
Following a principle of respect and low impact woodworking, we decided to intervene the branch as little as possible. To support the layers, we carved wooden nails and made an effort to highlight the beauty of the yew's patterns.