Home » “The desert is the forest” deepens the understanding of the relationship between man and the earth

“The desert is the forest” deepens the understanding of the relationship between man and the earth

by Dubai Forum
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Nouf Al Mousa (Dubai)

I was fascinated by the fragrance of local plants in the “Artist’s Garden” project at the Jameel Arts Center, in Dubai, and specifically the work “Desert is the Forest” by artists Sunoj De and Namrata Nyog, and I imagined what this wonderful interplay between the aromatic scents of an herbal plant such as “Khobeis, which grows in abundance in the emirates of Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, across rocky mountainous terrain, and between the “Al Jadah” plant, which is characterized by flowers of various colors, and used to relieve stomach pain It produces a strong smelling aromatic oil in front of the presence of the herb “wormwood” plant with an aromatic smell when a light passing wind comes from Dubai Creek, next to the site of the center with a view over it, until a state of mixture arises between them, suggesting the philosophical and intellectual inspiration of the culture of environmental practice and its role in building a system of concepts and social relations between people, and v the realization of this very complex intertwining, as imagined by the artwork, about the possibility of experimenting and seeing the desert from the perspective of the “forest” and our ability to derive, through the art of artistic garden architecture, the historical diversity and pluralism in the depth of The relationship Between man and the earth The plants and their innate formations came as signs and signals of the harmony formula of biological diversity in the landscape and what man did to tame processes governed by the politics of food and life to create a state of development of the plant species themselves and the scarcity of others, which reflects the growth of concepts, behavior and social patterns, On the other hand, other social practices atrophy. Thinking of the desert as a forest, by its very nature, leads us to new relationships and their endless extensions, and their influence on cognitive and cultural creativity.

  • A page of the local plants in action (photos from the source)
    A page of the local plants in action (photos from the source)

In the work “The Desert is the Forest”, the visitor must look at about 25 plant species independently and then make a unique attempt to form a language, that is, to build a creative form that complements the artwork and aims to deepen the relationship between the viewer and the plant, whether herb or tree. The perennial tree called “Arfaj” may be notable as it blooms during the month of December, thus reflecting the societal heritage of the Emirati winter. Therefore, the presence of this tree in the food components represents the interdependence between the presence of humans and goats in this environment and the natural mineral deposits that form in the desert, forming a landscape that lives, negotiates, adapts and adopts each of us in a complex interweaving of relationships, language and identities, and in a statement by artists Sunoj De and Namerata Newg, both enumerate the detailed dimension of the work: “Just as the goats are ‘tamed’ to man, the goats have also ‘tamed’ man, and like the Ghaf tree ‘tamed’ goats, man also ‘tamed’ the Ghaf tree – to highlight the key element J, “food”, which involves us in this politics. Eating binds humans and non-humans in an intimate relationship with the landscape, where a peculiar regime manifested in the “forest”.
Artist Sunoj D, whose work revolves around the contemplation of politics and fluid meanings in materials derived from critical engagement with the landscape, and artist Namrata Nyog, who works with theoretical investigations of human and non-human interaction in the landscape and the politics of representation and vision , gather information about the native plants of the Emirates through conversations with local farmers, families, gardeners and botanists, opening another horizon for the impact of these discussions on the creativity of a renewed cultural component, by making farmers embrace the fact , that land and agricultural spaces represent broad art exhibitions that allow the recipient to interact with them in a question of identity and its connection to the land in Being an opportunity to discover the meaning of “diversity” in a practical way, pushes in direction of experiencing the cultural behavior that derives from environmental practice, which leads us to intellect tual possibilities that may be consistent with the memory of the place.


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