The warm welcome that the project had in the various environments where it had been presented was well deserved and indicated the great success it would achieve abroad.
Perhaps, however, the opportunity to make the historical experiment of integrating artist-children – in the monumental characteristics and international dimension envisioned by its creator – was lost. It would have been a great opportunity to project onto the great screen of Universal Art a Brazilian vision that is highly encouraging as it answers to one of today’s greatest perplexities with a positive image: a tree, artistically built from countless sheets of paper – each of them being a child’s artistic expression about a natural product that results from the industrialization of Nature.
The Tree is an itinerant installation; a unique piece of collaborative art made with adhesive leafs drawn by children from all over the world. Each leaf represents a child, identified in the base of the structure by their name, age and nationality. The project began in 1990 in the United Nations School. In the following years, at the request of the UN, it roamed through many cities in different countries.
Roth worked with 60,000 children from nearly 70 countries in events hosted in Brazil, the United States, Germany and Israel. The artist’s intention was to finish the work when the tree achieved one million leafs and reached the full dimension of the facade of the UN Headquarters in NY. The piece was meant to be projected onto the building at the turn of the millennium, sending out a message of piece to the new generations.
Otávio deceased before the project was concluded, but the team that assisted him kept on with his work, bringing The Tree to several cities in Brazil.