Tree of Life - Mark Dion

Mark Dion honours Herbricht with new work for Art on the Meuse
The first international artist for the Art on the Meuse (Kunst aan de Maas) project has been announced. American artist Mark Dion has createed a tree of life for the municipality of Lanaken, with animals and objects of relevance to the surrounding area. The target date for completion is 30 June 2022 at the earliest. Also on display is the very first work by Benjamin Verdonck, which can be admired at the Boyen chapel in Dilsen-Stokkem.

Lanaken welcomes Mark Dion
Conceptual artist Mark Dion (New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1961) is bringing years of experience with him to the Meuse Valley. He gained international acclaim for his examination of ecological issues and the perception of nature.

Dion’s work was a deliberate choice by the artistic committee. It aligns with the heart of the project and complements the river landscape in and around Herbricht, which is defined by the Meuse Valley and the Meuse river. During last year’s floods, the area was literally transformed into a refuge for animals. This makes Dion’s Tree of Life even more symbolic.

Dion accepted the invitation and sketched an impressive eight-metre-tall sculpture; a tree of life for animals, insects and objects from the surrounding area. The tree is rich in symbolism yet can be freely interpreted by viewers. It can be seen as an evolutionary family tree, a mythological tree of life that connects heaven, earth and the underworld, or something else entirely. When deciding which animals and insects to include, Dion researched the species that once lived in the Meuse Valley, from ancient sturgeon and the famous Mosasaurus to species that still live here today, like the beaver and the iconic Konik horse. They are all of natural and symbolic value to the area and some even feature in local folklore. Viewers are free to interpret the relationship between these animals.