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by Aaditya Singh | 16-09-2019 04:57 recommendations 0

At a time when human intervention and indiscriminate clearing of forests, as a contributing factor to the raging Amazon forest fires, has been a topic of serious concern and the world seeks a solution to the huge losses due to such recurring fires, I have a slightly reassuring news to share from Austria. I am in no way trying to belittle the menacing issue of the fires but want to highlight positive human action to raise awareness about the importance of afforestation.

Built for the European Football Championship in 2008, the Wörthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt has been turned into Austria‘s largest public art installation. A public exhibit lasting for 2 months, from 8 September to 27 October 2019 serves as a living  testimony to human imagination, art and innovation, ingenuously used to raise awareness on environmental conservation. 

“FOR FOREST – The Unending Attraction of Nature” is a temporary eco-art project initiated by the artist and international contemporary art mediator Klaus Littmann. Designed by internationally renowned landscape architect Enzo Enea, the entire playing field of the stadium has been turned into a mixed forest, characteristic of Central Europe, with 300 trees, some weighing up to six tonnes.

The trees, species found in Central European forests like alder, aspen, birch and oak, were installed rather than planted after being acquired from large nursery regions of Italy, Germany and Belgium. It was a new information for me that such nursery bred trees undergo timed transplants roughly every five years, to prepare them for future relocations.

I found the spirit of the project captured in Littmann’s words, "For Forest is very timely as it coincides with growing global discussions and activism linked to deforestation and climate change." The conservation concept was further reinforced by Enzo Enea as he used suitable regional plants and wild hedges to border the stadium forest, recreating a mixed forest as it once existed in the region. In Enea’s words, “For the two months’ runtime of the project, natural biodiversity will come to the stadium — and insects, birds and people will all find themselves drawn to the stadium at the same time.”

Littmann’s projects have often captured the essence of everyday culture and contemporary art in relation with urban spaces. This revolutionary idea that has been in his mind since 30 years, when he first saw the pencil drawing “The Unending Attraction of Nature”, by Max Peintner (born 1937), has now been realized it into a utopian reality!

Far ahead of his time, through his sketch, Peintner highlighted the brutal reality of diminishing forests by showing an audience admiring forests in a stadium. Clearly depicting the imminent threat to our natural environment, the artist invoked an image of a time when forests will exist only as exhibition objects! The thought-provoking drawing took a realistic and tangible three dimensional shape through Littman’s iconic project. 

With free admission to the stadium, visitors can admire the spectacular forest from the grandstands. Shaped by season change, the forthcoming autumn will make the forest go through fall with transforming colors and landscapes, evoking mixed emotions and reactions from visitors. The natural forest planted in a completely ‘out of context’ surrounding is meant to jolt our conscience to create awareness about the bond between nature and humankind. The monumental installation also serves as a clever but subtle warning that unless we act now, we may need to enjoy the remnants of nature only in specially assigned protected spaces.

Living in Austria, I hope to be able to visit ‘For Forest’ before the closing date. I was also curious to know where the trees will go after the exhibition is over. It was heartening to read that after the ‘FOR FOREST’ exhibit closes, the trees are going to be transplanted at a permanent site in Klagenfurt, and the SK Austria Klagenfurt football team will be back on their home turf!!!

I will keep track of the project to know more in this regard.

Source/Reference and photographs

See both the inspiration and the realized project in the attached images!!!




  • Canada E-gen Ambassador Aaditya Singh


Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Aaditya

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about A FOREST IN A FOOTBALL STADIUM

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 04-10-2019 21:45

Aaditya Singh

  • Aaditya Singh says :
    Thanks Mentor Hyeongmin, Israel, Alok & Meena for your encouraging comments.
    Posted 21-09-2019 16:39

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hello Aditya!
    I'm very impressed by the brilliant idea that turned the football stadium into a public art landmark.
    There are countless ways to bring people's attention to saving the environment, and certainly this one will have huge impact to the society.
    I'll also keep track of this project since I'm interested both in football and environment.
    Thank you for the interesting and informative report!
    Posted 20-09-2019 00:19

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Hi Aaditya,

    I can comprehend the endless efforts of yours to write this article.
    Truly inspiring article.
    With regards ,
    Meena Pandey
    Posted 16-09-2019 17:38


  • ALOK DHAKAL says :
    I would like to appreciate your effort for this kind of story.
    Keep writing
    Warm regards,
    Alok Dhakal
    Posted 16-09-2019 14:00

Israel Adeoye

  • Israel Adeoye says :
    Hi Aaditya,

    I must confess that I'm reading such story for the first time and would want to appreciate your effort for that.

    It is very striking to read that a time is coming when forest will only exist as an exhibition objects, which I hope it doesn't happen. I must commend the great artistic work of the artist. That was very inspiring.

    I hope you would gain your entrance into 'For Forest' as you mentioned.

    Thanks for the report.
    Posted 16-09-2019 08:30

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