In 2018, we wrote about a gorgeous beachside wooden sculpture of a woman opening her heart to Tulum visitors by South African artist Daniel Popper. Since (and before) that time, Popper has been creating larger-than-life, similarly gorgeous interactive giants for festivals all around the world, each one as unique and beautiful as the next.
Daniel is most acclaimed for his massive public art installations at top festivals like the Electric Forest festival in the USA, Boom Festival in Portugal, Rainbow Serpent festival in Australia, as well as Afrikaburn in the Tankwa Karoo in South Africa. Many of his projects include collaborations with other artists, technicians and artisans to incorporate electronic music, LED lighting and projection mapping as key components.
In 2014, Popper was commissioned by Siemens to create a meaningful statue for the Nelson Mandela School of Science and Technology in Mvezo, South Africa, Mandela’s birthplace. Popper decided upon a tree to symbolize growth and the spirit of education.
The Tree of Wisdom stands 14m high, weighs about 3 tons and is made of galvanised steel, so it was no joke to build, transport and assemble. The result is an icon of hope that stands as a symbol of Madiba’s love for education.