To show how spectacular the photosynthesis is, we have created a 9 meter long luminous acrylic wall that shows the cut of a leaf. In the middle of the exhibition stands a 7.5-metre-high wooden sculpture made of 10 km of aluminum tubes – the Fantastic Tree itself.
The fanastic tree is one of the Norwegian Forest Museum's most spectacular exhibitions about photosynthesis and the tree's life, death and history. By using complicated lighting effects, we recreate photosynthesis. Understanding photosynthesis is the very basis for understanding both carbon sequestration, the carbon cycle, and next in line the role of the forest in a climate context.
We tell about how the tree is created, and that photosynthesis is the basis of all life. How the leaves are the world's best solar collectors, and how photosynthesis takes place in the leaf. Photosynthesis can be difficult to understand, but we explain the trees' magical ability to transform air into sugar in a new and exciting way. To show how spectacular photosynthesis is, we have created a 9 meter long luminous acrylic wall that shows the cut of a leaf. This shows how photosynthesis takes place.
10 km of aluminum pipe
10,000 meters of aluminum pipes went into building the 7.5 meter high sculpture which stands in the middle of the exhibition. The artist Kevin Iris from Wisconsin has wrapped the pipes into a tree, together with Frode Stenberg AS. Each tube is threaded with fiber cable, and at the end of the branches are a total of 740 flowers and leaves. The tree has great communication potential and shows, among other things, the color variation of the four seasons, as well as the flow of water and nutrients through the tree.
Nick Stevens from Oslo School of Architecture and Design has been responsible for the development of the idea and the production of leaves and flowers in memory metal, to achieve an effect where the flowers open in the summer. Around the tree there is a root system that shows the life around the tree. How many insects can you find under a leaf? Different stages of decomposition of the wood, from hardwood to soil, are also presented.
The fantastic tree is a good example of research dissemination and a fruitful collaboration between two institutions. The Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy (NIBIO) at the Forest and Outland Division (formerly Forest and Landscape) has done extensive and extensive work to ensure the quality of the content of the exhibition.
The project is financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Sparebanken Hedmark, Statskog, Skogbrand, Hedmark county municipality, Skogbrukets value creation fund, Det norske Skogselskap and Anno museum. NIBIO has been an invaluable supporter in professional quality assurance.
We have created an exhibition that will convince the public of what a spectacular process photosynthesis is and that it is not "just" to become a big tree. The audience must both be fascinated, and they must gain new knowledge. It should also arouse curiosity for exciting research and all the unanswered questions we have about the forest and the tree - there is still a lot we don't know!