In 2006, German artist duo Zonenkinder created The Tree Project, in which they embrace the gradual decay that occurs in everyday nature by transforming rotting tree wood into works of art. The artists enjoy finding new ways to create art through these inanimate objects, and they say, “We are constantly in search of new forms of expression and we love to play with unusual surfaces and locations.”
Comparable to the way we might look for faces and shapes in the clouds overhead, the couple sees all kinds of potential in the naturally formed timber. Once they find an inspiring blank canvas, they use biodegradable products to paint eyes, noses, and mouths across the surface of the wood, visually bringing new life to the hidden personalities of each tree. The final results of their endeavors are these extremely expressive faces which Zonenkinder believes “emphasize our close and unique connection with nature. Thereby reflecting that trees are exceptional and beautiful living individuals.” The ongoing project can be seen, until it gradually fades back into the earth, throughout the natural landscape of Denmark, Germany, and France. The various cute, playful, and grumpy faces would be quite the delightful surprise during a daily stroll through the trees!