Human Roots

An extraordinary exhibition by Mickael Obrenovitch at Uma by COMO, Ubud

Since painter Miguel Covarrubias visited Bali in the 1930s, the island has maintained a long history of attracting innovative artists from all around the world. Many, like Covarrubias, have drawn remarkable inspiration from this extraordinary Indonesian jewel just to the east of Java, resulting in significant bouts of creativity and some quite spectacular art.

Of those currently working on the island, perhaps the French contemporary sculptor, Mickael Obrenovitch, is making some of the most interesting noises. His current exhibition, Human Roots, not only highlights his own passion for wood, but explores man’s own delicate relationship with nature and specifically the damage our species inflicts upon the fragile Earth.

Obrenovitch describes his art as a discussion between himself and the wood in his quest to find true meaning. He cites influences from Henry Moore, Giacometti, Jean Arp and the extreme abstraction of Constantin Brancusi and, whilst one clearly can understand why he says this, the truth is that Human Roots is Obrenovitch through and through.

The series is made up of ancient Javanese teak roots thankfully rescued from a fellow artist’s woodpile where they waited to be burned as fuel. Each creation has been worked with passion and vision into a collection of remarkable, unique, freestanding pieces.

As Obrenovitch points out, the tree has always been the symbol of life and he feels that through his labours these ancient root relics of the mighty tropical forests that once covered much of Java have been once again reborn.

Human Roots can be seen spread over the two beautiful and luxurious COMO properties in Bali. One is in north Ubud, Uma by COMO, and the other slightly further north in COMO Shambhala Estate. The pieces are thoughtfully placed throughout the properties and grounds, where their organic beauty is ideally showcased.

For those unable to make this provocative exhibition, there will be a second exhibition later in the year in Jimbaran, Bali.