Land art in Tehran park mistaken for talismans 

July 14, 2020 - 18:33

TEHRAN – Some land artworks created on the trunks of trees in Tehran’s Laleh Park have been mistaken for talismans and magic words.

Some reports published by a number of news agencies have caused the mistake, Fereshteh Aalamshah, the land artist who created the works, told the Persian service of Honaronline on Tuesday.

The land artworks featuring some nonsense words and letters typographically were inscribed on the trunks of plane trees in the park during an environmental art festival in 2011, she said.

“These inscriptions are not readable. I like this mysteriousness in these works, which offer a challenge to visitors to try to read or find familiar works and make a connection with them,” she added. 

“Despite what was reported by some municipal officials, I have not done any engraving on the trunks, but the inscriptions have been created with a brush and color made from natural red soil from Hormoz Island,” Aalamshah stated.

“The red soil contains the substance iron oxide, which causes no harm to the trees and nature,” she noted.    

When Aalamshah was creating the inscriptions on the trees she supposed that they would gradually fade as a result of rainfall.

“However, nature treated the artworks in a different way. The skin of the trunks absorbed the color and the inscriptions remained intact,” she said.

During the land art festival, the organizers set up a board bearing explanations about the inscriptions. The board was removed after the end of the festival.

“And now after nine years, people know nothing about the inscriptions and some comments by current municipal officials have led them to mistake the artworks for talismans or magic words,” Aalamshah said.

In 2014, Aalamshah established an eco-lodge namely Almon in the town Hassanabad near Isfahan to promote art residency and the culture of such a place in the region. 

She lamented about the lack of official regard for land art and its key role in protecting the environment, and said, “Any minor work by Iranian land artists usually receives a warm welcome at overseas international festivals, but they are ignored in their homeland.”

Photo: This combination photo shows a number of inscriptions by land artist Fereshteh Aalamshah on trees in Tehran’s Laleh Park during an environmental art festival in 2011.


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