Rotvälta. Wanas Konst. Sweden. 2020.

Impromptu performance.

Rotvälta: Uprooted, root turned, windthrown. Trees uprooted, broken by the wind.

Folklore tells of mystical small creatures who live under the roots of the fallen trees and musn’t be disturbed. Regardless of whether one believes this or not it is important never to rest or even walk beneath a rotvälta. People have died this way, sitting under them when they suddenly rise again – burying the person alive under the thick roots and mos.

I learned of these dangers after the instinctive performance.

As a ritual to pay respect to the unknown, the unseen, I walked only barefoot amongst the root system. I have in quiet internal, intuitive conversation with myself and ecosystem I am interacting with. Without placing intellectual terms to this process I always ask permission, I listen, I deeply revere that which cannot be seen. I found a rock at the base of the tree. I took it back to my studio and covered the rock in goldleaf. I returned to the site to traverse the root system to place the gold rock in a new resting place.

I returned a few days later. The rock had fallen. Returned to the ground. A new resting place.

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