Thuja, Tree of Life
Whenever I encounter Thuja as a privacy hedge I'm overcome by a feeling of both, rejection and repulsion as well as anxiety and distress. There always seems to be more than the simple necessity of privacy behind these fences, something mysterious and concealed, very close but not visible to the passerby. It also suggests uncanny lurking on the wrong side of the hedge, namely inside the garden or the house.
Connecting the meaning of the common name "tree of life” (because resins of these trees were used medicinally in Western Europe and therefore suggesting immortality and resurrection) with
the contemporary use of Thuja, obscuring and preventing a gaze behind the scene from the outside has an contradictory and somewhat morbid effect. It implicates more a denial than affirmation of life.
Ultimately and literally the insight into another world is being hindered from either side. There remains a glimpse between deliberate or inadvertent gaps.