The Italian artist Giuseppe Penone created a work of art inspired by nature for Rotterdam’s cultural axis. The sculpture Elevazione is sited alongside the Westersingel near the Eendrachtsweg. It consists of a bronze tree trunk encircled by five living trees. The bronze cast and the trees have a symbiotic relationship.
Penone had the idea for the sculpture when he came across a fallen tree in the woods near Turin. The tree’s extremely long roots had grown above ground, so that the tree was not anchored in the ground. Penone has conserved the extraordinary form of this tree – a 9-metre high trunk with almost 6-mtre long roots – by casting it in bronze.
In Rotterdam Penone has combined this bronze copy of nature with five living trees: an existing beech and four new alders. The bronze tree is fixed at a height of more than one metre, floating above the ground. The ends of the bronze roots pass through the living trees. As the trees continue to grow the bronze will leave a trace in their bark. Time is an important factor in this art work: after several years the passage of time will be visible in the tree trunks.