Limits

Glass, Earth, Crassula Ovata, Cast resin, JD Reid Gallery, New Plymouth, 06.07.18 — 29.07.18
2009 50 x 50 x 50 cm 15kg

Limits is a maquette for a public artwork that was proposed for Copenhagen Airport during the 2009 COP15 climate change conference.

The Chinese character 困 is a figure of a tree in a box and means trapped or limited but can also mean difficulty or disaster.

The Crassula Ovata tree stores carbon dioxide that it absorbs during the day for photosynthesis at night through Crassulacean Acid Metabolism, an adaptation that allows it to survive in arid and hot conditions. Coloquially know as a ‘money tree’, it is often given as gift to encourage financial growth.

In 1972 the Club of Rome published ‘The Limits to Growth’ report on a computer model of exponential growth and finite resouces. They predicted that given no changes to historical growth trends, the limits to growth would become evident by 2072 leading to sudden and uncontrollable decline. Widely criticised in the years following its publication, a 2008 paper for CSIRO found that over 30 years the report’s results closely matched a scenario of no change in historical growth trends.

The Maquette was first publicly shown during Vital Transformations Mauri Ora festival at Art-science+environment; a group exhibition at JD Reid Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand.