I was born in a suburb of Paris and I am still very tuned in to my birth city. When Notre-Dame burned, what touched me the most was to see the old timber – nicknamed “the forest” because each beam was made from a whole tree – go up in smoke.
These oaks were cut down between 1060 and 1220 and were about 300 years old at the time. Knowing that there was a Gallo-Roman temple beneath the cathedral, that it was most-likely built on an even more ancient temple, and that it was a known practice for Romans to cut down the sacred oak groves of France, it can be inferred that these oaks came from such a grove.
I made this piece as an ode to Notre-Dame’s “forest” with the wish that the spirit of the trees has finally been set free and have returned home
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