Practice English Speaking&Listening with: DOCUMENTAIRE - 100.000 bomen en een bos van draad

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Together with many others I'm going to embroider a forest.

A fantastic forest you can walk through, but stitched with thread on fabric.

In addition, we will also create an actual living forest...

by having 100,000 trees planted in the Netherlands and in the tropics.

It's amazing that we're embroidering 100,000 trees...

and on top of that will be trying to give a 100,000 trees to our planet.

The people behind me are embroidering the trees, leaves and birds in the forest.

We've already filled a lot of metres in the past seven weeks.

It's very interesting to work on a big project with so many people simultaneously.

I get the impression that people really enjoy adding a few stitches.

People get acquainted, friendships are formed. It just happens.

We came here to get some books, and then we saw this. We chatted a bit.

I really enjoyed talking to everyone. It was fun.

I've never embroidered before, but I'm enjoying it a lot.

It teaches you to relax, because it's such a finicky thing to do.

I just find it very relaxing. And you get to know people as well.

The climate is a hot topic, of course, but I'm here for the embroidery.

Whether I'm embroidering a tree or something else doesn't really matter to me.

I mean, I could give you a pious story, but it wouldn't be true.

We have almost finished the first season already...

in which we have welcomed over 300 people who participated in the project.

I'm preparing embroidery kits.

We can't grow the threaded forest in the studio right now.

Because of the pandemic everyone has to stay at home. But we want it to continue...

so we prepared 500 embroidery kits that can be used to embroider leaves.

We will cut those leaves out and attach them to the big canvas.

That way, the forest will keep growing, even during this crisis.

We've had to adjust, because working in the studio has that social component...

and that has been put on hold. We now have online live sessions instead...

so we still get to see each other once a week.

People can ask technical questions, or just say hello or show their leaves.

I've been living in the Netherlands for one year now, since last summer.

When I was still living in Japan, I worked for museums.

An unexpected and very fun side effect of this is all the mail I'm suddenly receiving.

That hadn't occurred to me beforehand at all...

but it gives me great pleasure to open my mailbox every day.

It's very nice to see people's individuality shining through in those leaves.

They work with our pattern, and we include sample stitches and instructions in the kit...

but even with those stitches and that pattern...

people find their own way to make those leaves.

This is a model, but in reality it will be four metres tall and thirty metres long.

So those canvases on the table are only small parts of the whole thing.

Winter, spring, summer, autumn. You're basically walking through the seasons.

What I love about this project is that it's long-term, it lasts five weeks...

at least at this location.

That makes it easier for people to become acquainted and find out if it's their thing.

That's something we value as well. There needs to be time for things, a rhythm to it.

This project has that in spades.

We've had to put the project on hold...

and work remotely with those separate leaves we came up with...

but it feels great to sit around one table again.

We're working on the middle section of the canvas, where the two halves meet.

I'd like to have everything on this table filled in before we go to the next location...

but there's only a week left.

The design I made was very detailed and ambitious, and very big...

so I don't think we'll be able to make all of it.

We've been guests here for almost two months, in this beautiful environment.

It's truly a gift. This is the environment we want to be in, it's like the natural world.

The trees are indoors, and we're working among them.

I came here thinking I would fill in a huge piece like this...

but in the end I was only able to do this much.

It's very impressive to see how much work it takes to make just one small leaf.

Seeing all those leaves from above...

it's hard to fathom how many hours they took to make.

Creating a work of art that will actually come to life within the natural world...

that's such an awesome concept.

The stories are an important part of the project.

They will be embroidered in the roots of the trees.

Tree roots form their own communication network.

So people sharing their stories while embroidering their soul into the project...

and having these stories return in the tree roots is wonderful.

There will be an audio tour.

While people are walking through the four seasons in the artwork...

they will be hearing fragments of stories about people's experiences in nature.

The finished canvas will be hung on a spiral frame.

We will exhibit it for a couple of years, and then I will plant it outside.

That spiralled canvas will be transplanted to a park landscape.

We will put soil and seeds in the hem of the canvas.

As the seeds germinate the canvas will decay...

so the spiral shape will remain, but it will consist of actual living trees over time.

My plan was to completely embroider every piece of fabric...

but realistically speaking, that's too much work for a large canvas like ours...

so I've decided we will work towards embroidering only the contours. Then we can work much faster.

To make sure the transition between the two styles is fluent...

we will either fill in the leaves in between partially or make their contours thicker.

That's how we can segue into that wider stitch, with which we can work faster.

Today we're wrapping up the third season, so we're at three quarters of our locations.

The fourth season will be done in Enschede.

75% of the embroidery should have been done by now...

and 75% of the trees donated. But we're not even close, so it remains to be seen...

whether we'll be able to fill in the canvas and have all the trees donated.

We had so many blank sections left...

that I decided to set up the embroidery tables in my own studio in the Binckhorst area.

With the stricter measures only two people can work on it simultaneously.

So it's going very slowly, but at the same time it's absolutely wonderful...

that we can use these last few weeks to finish the canvas in the best possible way.

And then there's all those individual leaves.

I received so many of these separate leaves, more than 4000 of them.

Leave-filled envelopes still come blowing in through my mailbox every week...

and we have to attach all of them.

I embroidered these at home. I had such a lot of fun doing that.

That's what I love about this project, the fact that you can use your own creativity.

Trees will be planted across the world, and that's a beautiful thing.

I love trees, I love nature...

so I think that's absolutely wonderful.

It's nice that it's for a good cause, but most of all it's about creating something together.

It's been a year-long process of recharging your imagination...

and it feels good to be a part of it until the end.

It has its hooks in me. There's a bit more work involved now...

but you can't work harder than you... You can't rush it. It doesn't work that way.

It's just great to see it grow.

The way I see it Sara has succeeded in what she set out to do.

In spite of everything. I'm in awe of her creativity.

She's like: 'We can't do it like this? Okay, then we'll do it like that.'

This is a cloth with texts that will be attached under the trees.

These texts will be their roots.

We have to make our final push.

More than a thousand people helped embroider the forest.

We collected 300 nature stories.

People ask me how many stitches were set in total, but I have no idea.

I'd guess something like a million.

Before the exhibition opens, we will prepare a booklet first...

and also an audio tour, so you can listen to nature stories at the exhibition.

We're making a process presentation...

and are building the construction the canvas will be hung on.

So far I've only seen fragments. Only when the canvas is up...

will I be able to see the effect of the transparent fabric...

with the embroidered pieces in the colours of the seasons behind it.

My design has been purely theoretical so far...

but in a few weeks from now I will finally see how it looks in reality.

By then it will be too late to change anything, so that will be an exciting moment.

It's up, right behind you. -Yes, finally.

So far it has been nothing more than an idea on paper.

We did translate it onto fabric, but only now I'm seeing it the way I dreamt it would be.

There have been moments where I thought we would never make it...

because by the time we had finished the third season...

we had embroidered only 50% of the canvas.

That was when I started to worry a bit.

But by adjusting the design and doing a lot of last-minute work in my own studio...

we managed to fill in quite a few blank sections.

It didn't turn out the way I imagined it...

but in its own different way the outcome is just as beautiful as the theory.

I feel a lot of emotion. And admiration.

And pride, because we created this together, of course.

Embroidery is nice...

but there's nothing more beautiful than nature, and it's indispensable for us.

That's how I'm feeling right now.

When you're busy embroidering you're only aware of that particular square centimetre...

and that's a beautiful thing...

but to suddenly see it in its totality is an absolutely amazing experience.

It was very special to work on it with so many people.

With a different partner every time, with the conversations you would have.

You had such a strong sense of creating something together.

I love that real trees will be planted. It's not just about the trees we've embroidered...

a lot of real trees will be planted by the TreeSisters organisation as well.

The fact that this canvas will decay feels kind of weird.

I did think: Here I am embroidering this thing, and soon it will be gone again.

But ultimately that's a good thing.

It will be displayed in several locations in the Netherlands, and possibly abroad...

over a two-year period.

Early 2023 we're going to plant it out in nature...

in the garden of Museum Belvdre in Heerenveen.

Over the course of several years, the fabric will be decaying slowly...

while the seeds will germinate and grow into trees.

As a result, the embroidered trees will gradually be taken over by real trees.

When all the fabric is gone, we will remove the frame.

Then there will be a spiral-shaped, living forest, to walk through until eternity.

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