Name: “Under heavy load”
Size: 180. cm high, about 100 kg
Material: Tree, dolerite and steel
Artist: Inga Helgadóttir
Location: The garden at Grenimel 15, Reykjavík
Date: July 2002
The trunk of the tree symbolizes us, the humans; it is a combination of animal and divine spirit. The animal is the trunk and the spirit is the invisible force that exists in the tree and managed its growth while it was still standing.
The trunk seems to be running but it cannot go anywhere because of the weight that keeps it restrained.
The rock that rests on top of the trunk is gray and irregular in shape and represents the weight of all the thoughts, ideas, prejudices and beliefs, all men carry through life.
Man´s strongest weight, however, is the root that keeps him firmly on the ground.
Between the root and trunk and the trunk and rock is a space, void, nothing. The same nothing that contains all. Life.
The steel rails represent the power of life, which in fact, bears all the burdens of man as long as he will let go of the importance, the me.
When the west of Reykjavík was built, the citizens seized the opportunity to plant trees in their gardens and to ensure that they would grow, they planted them close to each other’s, like bushes, so they would get shelter from each other while they were growing. The trees thrived well, but when the time came to sort out which trees should live and which should go the owners hesitated, they did not want to let any of them go, so over time many gardens resembled a forest, with far too many trees, with narrow trunks and branches tangled together.
When I moved into my old neighborhood as an adult I got one of those gardens with nothing but trees that had blocked the sun access to the garden and created a perfect growth area for moss and various weeds.
My first work in the garden was to take down 12 trees, clear all the moss, sow some grass seeds and plant flowers and other plants.
Few years later, we removed 12 more trees whish were sectioned into pieces so it would be easier to move them away.
And sure enough, in the tree pile I found treasure, a trunk that in my mind became the sculpture “Under heavy load”.
Now the sculpture has been standing in the garden for many years, summer and winter, in all kinds of weather. It has aged as its creator, but it still stands and it will stand as long as I live and maybe longer.