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Commission by UNIKUM
2022, Topolò

The Lost Populus Garden

The Lost Populus Garden tells the corresponding migration story of the both the trembling poplar (topol in Slovene), and the Slovene minority of the village of Topolò, which is named after this tree. The garden is situated on the terrace landscape of the village, around a series of decayed structures, which might have housed Topolò’s first inhabitants. We cleared the overgrown terraces and reintroduced 10 new trembling poplars, which have disappeared over time, just like the majority of the inhabitants. These topoli tremble in the wind, which make them sound as if whispering. From the wood we collect during the clearing we made nutritious charcoal in traditional mud ovens, to cover the soil around the newly planted trees. To encourage reintroduction of the use of this place, we reinstated a water infrastructure to serve the land.

Populus, the scientific Latin name for poplar tree; in Latin Populus means both poplar tree and people.