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IC-98: Sukupuut: Malus Domestica 2017-, 2017. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: HAM Helsinki Art Museum

Family Trees: Malus Domestica 2017-

© Artist

Metsäpurontie 4, Helsinki

Created by artist duo IC-98 (Patrik Söderlund, b. 1974 and Visa Suonpää, b. 1968), Family Trees at Maunula House comprises two elements: a grove of apple trees in the park outside the building and a series of prints hung inside the house.

Located in the front yard of the Maunula House, Malus Domestica 2017- is a grove of eight apple trees, each with five apple varieties grafted onto it. Each variety is different in its manner and vitality of growth. Malus Domestica is the Latin name of the domesticated apple tree. Large stones removed from Maunulanpuisto park have been placed under the trees, landscaping the area and offering places to sit. The trees represent the maximum range of species possible within the parameters of biology. The apple varieties were selected from among commercial and historic varieties in Finland.

According to the artists, these multi-variety trees refer to the mythic history of fruit trees and orchards, to the ancient garden of Hesperides (the golden apples that granted eternal life) and to the tree of knowledge (of good and evil). Standing in front of the library, the apple trees are a reminder of the sources of knowledge. Just as there is no one truth, nor does knowledge have just one source. All knowledge is created in interaction, “mutual pollination”, which happens between people and cultures as well as between different epochs. Apples, too, domestic and familiar, have come from somewhere: their seeds have sprouted like new ideas, and the crop has been harvested collectively.

The apple trees link the library and the users of the park to time and place. When the trees were planted in 2017, they were still saplings, young trees. They accompany us in the passage of seasons and years. Each year, buds open up into leaves, and the trees flower, bear fruit and shed their leaves. Over the years, they grow ever taller. The growth of the trees is an organic part of the artwork.

More about Betula pendula:

The work was produced under the Percent for Art programme, and it belongs to the collection of the City of Helsinki, managed by HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

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