Černická Michaela & Černický Jiří

Floral Church, 2022


The idea of the Floral Church in the form of trees growing within the architectural concept of a classical cathedral emerged in the work of artists Michaela Černická and Jiří Černický as early as the late 1990s. It was firstly formulated through a narrative drawing from 1996. In 2016, the artists developer this idea in the form of a sculptural model presented as part of Jiří Černický’s solo exhibition Wild Dreams at the Rudolfinum Gallery in Prague. This project was realised using a total of 57 trees and on an area of 51 × 30 metres near the Helštýn hill near Valašské Meziříčí in 2022, with the support of the local government and private donors.

The concept of the Floral Church goes back to the essence of architecture when it was created by nature itself. To the time of sacred forests, meadows, trees, caves… Later, when builders and architects designed sacred architecture, the architecture that had to be built, they were mostly inspired by nature. In Egypt, Greece, Rome and of course in the Christian tradition, they replaced trees with various architectural elements. The Floral Church, however, is a building made of plants themselves and is not an imitation of nature, but of nature itself. Its foundations are formed by the roots of trees, the structure is built from gradually growing living trunks and branches, and the vaulted ceilings are formed by the coiffed crowns. The stained glass windows are composed of lone rays of light reflecting off the rustling leaves. The construction of such a church is established like an orchard or garden, in a way that makes it obvious that it is architecture. Over time it will grow, become more massive, and can be modi-fied by gardeners, ‘completed’ according to the needs of its users. It will not mind being overgrown. It will only become more mysterious, and in time, random paths will be created inside, intimate groves…

Michaela Černická & Jiří Černický with contribution by Michal Koleček