Charli Clark

Root Structures

Hidden Structures is an attempt to make visible the scale and complexity of tree roots and involves cleaning the
roots of a fallen tree. The unmasking or ‘revealing’ of the underneath that is impossible to view when alive is an
exercise in exploration. Through the act of removing the dirt clinging to the dead wood, this chance to discover the structure of a ‘new’ landscape is possible.

Since January Charli has been sampling, testing and researching the soil of Helsinki and Espoo, looking for similarities and differences in areas in different stages of urban development, in particular Otaniemi and Rastila. The soil has been a source of great intrigue, but whilst collecting samples Charli was constantly battling through thick tree roots, trying to avoid damaging what was beneath her. This has led to a fascination with the roots themselves, their expanse and the underground network that is actively exchanging nutrients throughout the forest is intriguing.

Kivinokka, a forest known for its vast array of species, is a special site because of the amount of dead wood that is left rotting there.

Kivinokka is “[a]n isolated small area of the entire biota [ecology] is threatened today, and especially in will
be in the future. In the past, Kivinokka has been linked to the major forest säalueisiin, which has ensured the
presence of demanding species”.
Kiema, S. and Reima Island Branch, The polypore and Corticiaceae survey of the northern forest area Kivinokka 2006-2007, 2009, City of Helsinki

Kivinokka has been in the centre of a debate over a new housing development. For now it is saved, however we
cannot be sure for how long. This work involves direct interaction with the materials of the forest and hopes to
enable some of the ‘distinctive qualities’ and ‘essential characteristics’ of this ecologically important forest to be
accessed by the viewers of the work.

Charli is a UK artist, currently based in Espoo, Finland,