Today, we can expand on that ever-growing list with the works of land artist Jaakko Pernu. The Finnish artist’s body of work presents large-scale sculptures produced from elements that originate in natural environments. Pernu works intensely with wood, willow in particular, manipulating its shape and utilizing its texture. His larger-than-life environmental sculptures forge branches together, designing a new type of leafless tree—one that mimics geometric and man-made shapes, uncommon in nature.
The wonderful thing about these series of sculptural land works, referred to as Timberline, is their playful nature. They could easily put a smile on a passing pedestrian’s face. Some of them blend in, making for a pleasant surprise when they’re noticed, while others can’t help but stand out. They alter the space they inhabit, allowing spectators to notice a visible difference. One could read this as a sign of the negative impact mankind has on the environment’s natural landscape. Pernu leaves the interpretation up to the viewer, but the artist says of his work: “My theme is the influence of humans on nature – the influence of nature on humans.”