Clemens Wilhelm together with Deveron Projects and members of the community of Huntly will plant “The Brexit Tree” on the day of Brexit, now scheduled for the 31st of January 2020.

The tree will be a weeping willow, the tree symbolizing loss and sorrow, but also healing and magic.

The aim of this project is to mark this historical day with the planting of a tree, and to create a new peaceful place in Huntly for people from both Brexit camps to meet and discuss the future of Huntly, the UK, and Europe under the branches of a weeping willow next to the river Deveron. “The Brexit Tree” will be surrounded by a circular bench, crafted by David Whitehead.

Artist Statement Clemens Wilhelm:

“Since the Middle Ages weeping willows are seen as symbols of lost love, mourning and sorrow. But there are much older sources from Babylon, China, and Pre-Christian Northern Europe that speak of the weeping willow as the tree of healing and magic, because the bark of willows contains salycyl, a substance similar to modern day aspirin, which has been used to cure illnesses since ancient times.

“The Brexit Tree” is a paradoxical image for an ambiguous moment in British, European and World History. Many people in Britain and the world feel an intense sorrow and loss because of Brexit. But more than half of the British voters opted to leave the EU, and one should assume that they are hopeful, and see Brexit as the beginning of a positive new era, and possibly a time of healing.

Just like Brexit, the weeping willow combines both of these opposing feelings – loss and healing – and unites them in its outstanding beauty. Let us not get lost in political divisions, but look to the bigger problems that we are facing as humanity in this age: planting a tree is probably a good idea in the age of global warming and climate change.”

To this day, 75 British and international newspapers have reported on this project, including the Times, The Daily Mail, The Glasgow Herald, The Independent, iTV, and Ta Nea.

more info here

Clemens Wilhelm | THE BREXIT TREE | Huntly, UK