Tree of Signs

First, We Put Up a Tree 
The sculpture Tree of Signs, a collaborative project between Gabríela Friðriksdóttir and French designers M/M, will be the first man-made structure in Urriðaholt.

A sculpture entitled Tree of Signs will be the first man-made structure to be raised in Urriðaholt. The work was conceived by French designers Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag, better known as M/M, in collaboration with artist Gabríela Friðriksdóttir. The sculpture is five metres tall and is made of bronze. According to Gabríela, the tree can be viewed as a monument to possibilities inspired by the generous and rewarding collaboration between different parties, thus reflecting the basis for the residential area that will rise in Urriðaholt. 

Gabríela says that the idea behind the sculpture was conceived when M/M came to Iceland in connection with the French cultural festival Pourquois Pas? in early 2007. The conceptual work behind Tree of Signs began then, and basic sketches were exhibited at the Museum of Design and Applied Art in Garðabær. The tree is based on the same font as M/M used for the cover of Björk’s album Medúlla and which was used as a basis for all printed material and 3D objects that the duo created with Gabríela for the Venice Biennale. The font on the Tree of Signs, however, will be entirely three-dimensional and Gabríela’s drawings will be formed into bas-reliefs that hang on the tree like fruit, or seeds. “When we started discussing a possible collaboration with Urriðaholt and began to study the ideology behind the area, we discovered that it matched our ideas. Also, we had always wanted to raise the tree in an undeveloped area,” says Gabríela. 

“We at Urriðaholt heard about M/M through the Garðabær cultural representative and subsequently took Mathias and Michael to Búrfellsgjá on a sightseeing tour. It is rare to find such pristine nature so close to a residential area and they were impressed by the natural beauty of the site. A short while later a decision was made for the tree to become the first man-made structure in Urriðaholt. It is symbolic and fun and sends a definite message about vegetation and growth in the Urriðaholt area,” says Sigurður Gísli Pálmason, who sits on the board of Urriðaholt ehf.

Tree of Signs

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