Photo: Xavier Gil

The project "The Forest of the Crosses" was born from the need to externalize my feelings towards my villages forest burned by wildfire started on july 26th 2015 in the town of Òdena. It is an intervention in this forest next to the natural parc of Montserrat.

This work is a mourning ritual that occupies an area of four hectares expressing personal feelings. It aims to be a tool for denunciation and awareness towards forest management and climate change.

Shortly after the fire I started the first sketches of what this intervention, would be, the idea was to do a job that express my feelings at that time and so the viewer could perceive.

After som testing, I decided to perform the operation in an area near the road BP-1101 witch goes from Manresa to Montserrat to make more visible the project and share those feelings with the audience circulating on the road. The first cross of this forest is built within the term Sant Salvador de Guardiola and the rest of the operation in the town of El Bruc.

From the very beginning Ihad the interest and involvement of the local press ( Manresainfo ,and Regió7), shortly after the catalan press, then a France Press report catapulted the project in newspapers of half the planet.

Because in our culture the "mourning rituals" usually last a year Iproposed I my self to continuebuilding until the date of the anniversary of the fire on july 26th 2016. I built the last cross in front of numerous media, was 1293th cross, wich number matches the number of hectares burned by this fire.

The Forest of the Crosses has become a place of pilgrime ahere many visitors go there every week and where artist have been inspired to carry out their projects.
we filmed part of four features films, three shorts, half a dozen music vídeos, performances, photo shoots with models, nigth photography courses, the larger nigth giga-photo in history, guided tours for school and university teachers, etc..

After the intervention the news of the project has been published in nearly 500 media from around the world. It occupies the cover of the European edition of The Wall Street Journal, has been published in prestigious journals such as the British Guardian and Daily Mail. The US has published more than 120 media, 75 in China, 30 in Japan, 8 in Saudi Arabia, 6 in United Arab Emirates, 6 in Egipt and in places like Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, Guinea or the Pacific island of Guam.

The second phase of the project in terms of replanting the Forest of the Crosses with vegetation that supports better the effects of forest fires and global rising temperatures.

The aesthetic, and mediatic, and awarener, riser potencial of this project pushes us to export the project idea and the intention is to go to make a similar intervention in those parts of the world where the problem of deforestation is more pronounced.

 Photo: Pep Jaumandreu

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