Last year during the Ebola crisis (although for the US it was more of a “crisis”) I had opportunities to look at pictures of the Ebola Virus. I was struck by the fact that, in one orientation, it looked rather like a tree trunk. The wheels started to turn and I came up with the concept of an Ebola “tree”
It would be the antithesis of what we usually associate with a tree..beauty, shade, leaves, and fruit. This tree would bear fruit of a kind…disease and death. I decided that a good analog for fruit would be African kigangos, which are sometimes described as grave markers; actually they are carved slabs of wood designed to house the spirits of departed family members (so they don’t hang around and bother the living).
Several of my pieces deal with various facets of the exploitation of Africa, but this project simply points up the utter indifference the West displays toward African health issues unless, of course, they impact our cozy little corner of the world.
At almost 10 feet high this is about the biggest size I’m comfortable with, although I think the size is important in this case to increase the emotional impact. We tend to notice things that are bigger than us. Go figure.