|Nature Unframed: Art at the Arboretum, Morton Arboretum, Chicago, Illinois - 2011|
Lichen It! is one of 11 contemporary artworks installed by international artists at Morton Arboretum in Chicago, Illinois for its Nature Unframed: Art at the Arboretum show in 2011.
Lichens are a fascinating example of cooperative relationships in nature. They form perfect symbiotic relationships between a fungus and other algae or cyanobacteria, establishing a liaison in which two different organisms live in close physical association and provide advantages to one another.
Lichen It! is an analogy for the symbiotic relationship people have with nature. Trees beautify our earth while providing us with oxygen through photosynthesis, shade to protect us from the sun, wood to provide warmth and shelter, and habitats for birds, insects and animals. In return, it is our obligation to nurture and protect the trees. Just as lichen depend on other organisms for survival, we depend on trees for our survival.
By adorning trees in (wo)man-made lichen, we are enhancing their beauty and acknowledging the bountiful gifts trees provide humanity. The lichens existence throughout Morton Arboretum is a visual reminder of the crucial long-term relationship between man and nature. So, as people walk the trails of the Arboretum, they will come upon randomly placed patches of lichen and each time they spot one, it is hoped that they will think about the relationship humanity has with trees.
The sculptural elements were created with the help of volunteers at Morton Arboretum and installed with the excellent assistance of Morton staff.
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