Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Baobab Trees

I think it was in the title of a novel about an African woman that I first came across the name Baobab tree. I didn't give it much thought then but imagined it to be big. My first real Baobab tree I saw in Malawi or Zimbabwe. Or was it in Mozambique? I only remember that it was a huge tree, its trunk was immense, lots of people were hanging around it and I was told the tree was famous.

Baobab Tree, Mali @ Elaine Ling

When looking at Elaine Ling's Baobab trees I do experience very different sensations from the ones back then when I encountered my first one. Elaine's come in shapes and forms that are unfamiliar to me, and they are situated in spacious landscapes.

Baobab Tree, South Africa @ Elaine Ling

I feel reminded of paintings when looking at them. Sure, the frames contribute to that yet it is not only the frames, it's also to do with the skillful handling of light, and with the geometry of the images - I marvel at the various possibilities of growth that these trees are showing. Antonio Machado's words, "no hay camino, se hace camino al andar", do not only apply to human beings, they also apply to Baobab trees.

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