Nicolai Howalt – Old Tjikko

LOCATION: Outdoor exhibition by the Arthall MAP

© Nicolai Howalt

‘Old Tjikko’, the world’s oldest cloned tree with its 9550 years, is given new life in this photo exhibition by Danish artist and photographer Nicolai Howalt.

Exceptionally old spruces (Picea abies) were documented in an extensive research project whose main objective was to understand ecological changes in relation to climate change.

Surprisingly, several living spruce clones were found which seem to have existed since soon after the last ice age. These could be the oldest living spruces in the world, although currently living stems are far from that old. These have emerged in response to 20th century climate warming. The exact position of these trees, found in Dalarna, Sweden, are not revealed to the public, since extensive trampling around the spruces would certainly risk their continued existence.

The photograph of the tree was photographed and developed on different types of paper of older vintage. The structure, provenance and age of the paper mean that ’Old Tjikko’ appears in a number of very different artistic variations. The paper thus creates an artistic expression in itself, which gives an artistic, aesthetic and thoughtful layer to the thousands-year-old wood.

©  Søren Rønholt

Nicolai Howalt (b. 1970) is a Danish artist whose work spans across documentary, conceptual and installatory art. In his practice he works with dualities, connections and temporality as central aspects. Howalt graduated from Denmark’s renowned photographic art school, Fatamorgana, in 1992. He is the recipient of honorary grants from, among others, the Hasselblad Foundation, the Danish Ministry of Culture, the Danish Arts Foundation and the Danish Arts Council.

© Nicolai Howalt