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Örö Trees

With the Pines on Örö Again

Almost by accident I noticed that the tourist boat traffic to Bengtskär lighthouse and also to Örö Island had commenced, which meant that there were other options than visits from Wednesday to Wednesday with the ferry. Happy, I grabbed the chance to spend a week from Sunday to Sunday with the pines on Örö. Now, when the week is over I can note, with some satisfaction, that I did what I planned to do, and more. I visited “the pine next door”, which I used to pose with daily, holding on to its branch, during my visits in January and February earlier this year. And I went to see the pine on the beach and recorded my attempt at talking to it, speaking with it, in Tala om det för tallen 3 (Tell it to the Pine 3). The transcript of my Swedish words I added to my private blog, here.

Visiting “the pine next door” on 9 May.
Tala om det för Tallen (Tell it to the Pine) 3.

I also made quite a few new acquaintances, like the fallen pine tree on the shore that has persevered and insists on growing, and also some trees that invited me to create diptychs, pairs of images, like the two small pines that seemed to be in conversation, and which I had not noticed before. I also posed with a pine bent in the form of a gate at the shore, which probably caught my eye because I happened to approach it from an other angle, and as befits a gate, recorded the pose from both sides.

The Persevering Pine
Listening I & II
The Pine Gate 1 & 2

The amount of morels, which looked like pine cones in the sand at first, was so impressive that I created a small video sitting on two pine stumps among them. Unfortunately you cannot see much of the mushrooms, and you might also wonder whether the stumps really count as unremarkable trees to encounter.

During the last days of my stay I looked for suitable pine trees to swing in, planning for a participatory performance that will possibly take place as part of the Öres exhibition later this summer. The first swinging session I recorded with a pine next to the road, a site unsuitable for any collective event, mostly for myself, and in honour of Beckett and his beautiful monologue, calling it Swinging in a Pine – Örö Rockaby(e).

Swinging in a Pine – Örö Rockaby(e).

The two other pines I tried swinging in are located on more suitable sites; the first one close to the residency house, and the second – probably the easiest option to have voluntary participants – near the barracks, the hotel and the restaurant.

Swinging in a Pine in Örö.
Swinging in a Pine by the Barracks.

Working on the island now, when the season is beginning and there are plenty of people around, has been a very different experience compared to having the place almost for oneself in the winter. And living in a hostel, at times crowded with people, makes concentrating on work more complicated. There are advantages, too, of course, like restaurant services, and the transport that made it possible for me to come here in the first place. And the main reason for my visit, the pine trees, although sometimes looking different in another light and surrounding atmosphere, are nevertheless staying almost the same. Or rather, they are transforming slowly enough for my senses to recognise them as familiar, as friends.

By Annette Arlander

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