Phantom Limbs


Phantom Limbs
Self published
First edition (2017 ) 1 copy
Second edition (2018) 4 copies
Xerox print on ingres paper, wooden cover with lasercut
225 pages
19,1 x 13 cm

Phantom Limbs examines the reasoning behind the felling of trees in Dutch forests. One common reason argues that the felling of trees will improve a forest’s ecosystem. Dutch forests are human made and humans can’t create an independent natural balance like Mother Nature can. We must intervene to keep the forest’s ecosystems healthy by cutting down older and sick trees. However, a more contested but frequent reason for the felling of trees is to exploit forests for wood to benefit human society. Cutting a tree provides us with money, space, safety and more.

In the forest I grew up many trees were felled in a short period of time. I photographed the tree stumps left in the ground after their trunks were cut down together with the void they left in the canopy. The surrounding living trees get more space to grow and in Phantom Limbs they honor the felled, dead trees for their sacrifice. In the book the tree stumps are cut out and placed over their corresponding patch of sky. The void of a dead tree is filled with the branches of the surviving trees. Phantom Limbs contemplates the loss for a forest whenever a tree is cut down, but at the same time shows the benefits for surrounding trees to expand their growth.