Every summer, forest fires make the headlines. In 2006, the South of France, Spain, and Portugal were severely affected. Faced with these devastating fires, the artist expresses his anger and endeavours to raise awareness of the need for individual environmental responsibility. Each year, vast areas of forests are devastated on all five continents. Through the universal language of art, Philippe Pastor also wishes to sensitize the public at large of the long term damage caused by forest fires and of the necessity to protect environmental resources.
These sculptures were made from the actual burned tree trunks of the forest "La Garde-Freinet" in the Massifdes Maures, in Southern France. Since autumn 2003, with the authorization of the Mayor of La Garde-Freinet, Philippe Pastor has been going to the forest which he loves to collect some burned trees. The painter deploys all his energy to cut, transport and carve the blackened trunks, remains of trees killed by negligence or criminal violence. Through the magic and poetry of art, the black trunks are sculpted, painted, and revived.
From the Garde-Freinet to UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi: Various exhibitions were held in Monaco, Saint-Tropez, Sainte-Maxime, Todi (Italy), and in Nairobi (Kenya), at the Headquarters of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), which features these majestic sculptures at the launch of the global Art and Environment project. Since 2006, the "Burned Trees" permanent exhibit on the premises of the United Nations in Kenya has served as a channel to educate the public and promote responsible environmental stewardship.
Singapore 2007: Philippe PASTOR supports the United Nations Environment Program which coordinates the newly-launched Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign. The "Burned Trees" sculptures, vivid emblems of forest destruction, will be showcased to the public around the world. The first permanent exhibition will be held in Singapore from April 2007. The funds raised through this event will be used to plant trees with school children in Singapore. The Billion Tree Campaign advocates for collective tree planting and reforestation is in harmony with the vision and message of the artist who advocates for environmental protection and regeneration. The Billion Tree Campaign is placed under the high patronage of HSH Prince Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Green Belt Movement founder Professor Wangari Maathai and experts from the World Agro forestry centre. The campaign is linked to the need to combat climate change through positive tree planting action.
The Burned Trees of Philippe Pastor in Nice Airport: This exhibition features calcified tree trunks from the forest Garde-Freinet in the Var, Southern France, which were devastated during the summer of 2003 by criminal arsonists. The event symbolizes the commitment of Nice Cote d'Azur airport to protect the trees and shrubs that grow on its site and plant new ones. The "Burned Trees" are presented at Nice Airport to motivate millions of passengers to act in favor of the environment and the protection of natural resources.
"I saw the fire burning down the mountain I cannot resign myself to such destruction and I don't want to forget it. Looking at such mutilated nature, I am horrified and feel a deep feeling of rebellion towards the authors of this disfigurement... This scene of desolation is nothing but a mirror of our society." Philippe Pastor.