Quoting the rural tradition of Bilderbäume (trees adorned with numerous images of The Virgin Mary) the artist duo purchased replicas of statues accredited with miraculous powers in various places of pilgrimage with shrines dedicated to The Virgin Mary, and grouped them around a tree. The statues and images are protected by little cases and canopies of larchwood and marked with the name and place of origin of the replica concerned.
Herrnbaumgarten wanted a statue of the Virgin Mary for a site in a green clearing with a beautiful oak tree in the middle of the community. We purchased replica images and effigies of the Virgin Mary in various places of pilgrimage and grouped them around the tree, citing the rural tradition of bedecking trees with images. The statues and images are protected in cases and with small roofs of larch, and adorned with the name and origin of each replica. Among other locations, we visited Lourdes (France), Montserrat (Spain), Częstochowa (Poland), Altötting (Germany), but also Medjugorje (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Mali Lošinj (Croatia), i.e. both sites of pilgrimage officially recognised by the Catholic Church as well as unofficial ones. A pilgrimage was also made on foot to Mariazell. The process was comprehensively documented in photographs, film and writing. A book, videos, photographs, stories and paintings were also produced along with the permanent installation.
(Helmut & Johanna Kandl)