Whimsical Trees

Absurdus Abores

Located in a playground off 31st street and Lake Shore Dr, these painted trees contrast heavily with the surrounding landscape. The dead trees have their bark shaved exposing the inner heart wood that is painted bright colors. They stand on a concrete plinth and are encouraged to be climbed on.

It is interesting that these whimsical trees outnumber living trees in the park. Perhaps their motivation is to get kids more interested in nature, while simultaneously removing them further from it.

What ever happened to climbing regular old trees to connect with nature? That was how it was done for millennia, I did it, my father did it, and his father probably did it too. Now, however, our children are so disillusioned as to what nature and reality is that we need to paint crazy colors on them in order to attract them to interact with trees?

Perhaps the designer merely wanted to turn this park into Yo Gabba Gabba land without really thinking about the externalities. While these trees are interesting to look at, it is discomforting that they outnumber living healthy tree plantings.

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