EXTRA MATTER SYMBIOSIS
Site-specific installation, sculpture
(glass boxes, felt, pink opal, wood, paper),
analogue video documentary, analogue photographies
January 2022 
Preston Park, Brighton, UK

Thanks to:
The British & Hove City Council for sharing my story on the “Culture In Our City” section:
https://cultureinourcity.com/news-insight/extra-matter-symbiosis-a-project-by-lucrezia-costa/

LOOKING FOR A PARTNERSHIP TO PRINT A NEWSPAPER IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT



Two millennial elms called “The Preston Twins” stood for centuries at the edge of the Preston Park in Brighton, UK. These two twins were deeply connected and thanks to their age and experience they were able to welcome and host a colony of elm-dependent white-letter hairstreak butterflies every spring since 1613.

In 2019 one of the two elms was felled because it was declared infected by a lethal disease that killed him. The two elms were connected underground and in order to avoid the spreading of the disease through the roots a trench was dug in the ground to break the relation between the two elms. What’s remaining at the moment is a single elm and a very small and hollow trunk that is ten centimeters high circa.

But the two elms were meant to be connected forever and now the single elm has been infected by the same disease of the other one. It’s like after a long marriage, when one gets sick and dies, after some time the other member of the couple gets sick too.

But connections can survive out of the matter. What it’s meant to be together can’t be torn apart or separated so the artist wanted to create a new type of connection between the twins. A connection that can’t be infected because it’s not physical, but it’s kind of a spiritual connection that happens through a gift of the author.

In the days before the installation the artist prepared two tiny glass boxes with inside:
  • a small pink opal, known to be a healing stone, a powerful guide for grief and abandonment and the stone for transformation capable of giving love and a sense of safety;
  • a message that says “extra matter symbiosis - so you can still have a piece of him in you. L.C.”
  • on the day of the installation she adds a piece of bark of the living elm in the box that goes under the ground in the trunk of the dead one and viceversa. 




On January 8th 2022, the artist goes on the site of “The Preston Twins” and digs two small holes in the ground: the first inside the living huge hollow trunk and the second inside what remains of the other felled elm. She put the two tiny boxes underground and she covers them again with earth (*).

In the end she put two QR codes near the trees that creates a connection to the work of the author (this web page) and to the story of the Twins, so they’re more visible to tourists and curious people can learn something more about this never-ending connection and story that went through different epochs and generations.

The artist created a third small glass box that she brought home with the pink opal, the message and two tiny pieces of the Twins’ barks so they can metaphorically live together in that tiny space forever.

(*) the idea of putting the boxes underground comes from the tendency of the artist to dig and put under the surface what’s valuable and important so it can be protected. As Robert MacFarlane affirms in Underland: A Deep Time Journey (2020) talking about putting things under the ground: “The same three tasks recur across cultures and epochs: to shelter what is precious, to yield what is valuable, and to dispose of what is harmful. […] Into the underland we have long placed what which we fear and wish to lose, and what which we love and wish to save”.


DOWNLOAD HERE THE PDF WITH A BREIF HISTORY OF THE PRESTON TWINS:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1az2Fx3tkblPC_gt_xd7NvRNxtqnRAnMi/view?usp=sharing

GO AND CHECK THE WORK OF ELPIDA, AN ARTIST WHO’S WORKING ON THE FELLED TWIN:
https://www.elpihv.co.uk/works/preston-park-gilded-twin/

HELP THE FUNDRAISING FOR SAVING THE PRESTON TWINS:
https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/elpida-hadzi-vasileva-brighton-gilded-tree



lucreziacosta.com