Daniel Munteanu – Wooden Creatures

The Moondash Project began about over five years ago, though the poetry behind it is far older. It is intended as an artistic manifest, but more importantly, chiefly as a means of transmission, of passing on light and emotion, questions and some of my personal wanderings.”

Wooden Creatures – A World Apart


Sleeping Melancholy


The first time I have seen this fascinating place, I knew I would return later on. I have walked through many a forest but have only seldom found such wooden resemblances of zoomorphic or anthropomorphic (even more rare) representation, and then remotely and only one at a time. To find them all gathered in one place, such as in a zoo or private nature reserve was a joyful surprise.

As you will see in the following images, they can have quite delicate details and very expressive features engraved in their woody flesh, over the course of time. I wonder what complex natural occurrences have led to a conclusion of such diverse shapes, be they with smooth or with sharp outlines.

The wood was bleached by the sun and wind, the creatures began to show their faces and personalities as time moved on, the grass grew and surrounded them. Wide and medium height, of a pale medium-dark green, this encompassing grass (or sometimes even taller wild flowers ready to eject their seeds in the wind) somehow completed the state of calm entropy, steady-growing at a very slow pace, making the objects that took part of the spell to appear as if they are someone’s forgotten memories.

Their heads were easily recognizable, so much, in fact, that I wonder what a seven year old child would see if taken and left wandering , and for that matter, any adult still carrying a child inside, or set to see other worlds buried all around inside this one.


The Meeting



Flaked Old Age



Deer’s Death


Some of the remains of the trees were burnt, perhaps by lightning or fire, some were old, and all were bleached on one side at least. Some held rocks in their trunks, between twisted limbs or set as mineral jewels into wooden casts. Wood can be as smooth as a sculpture, full of shrapnel and sharp as a knife, blunt or battered, poked and perforated, gnarled and twisted or hollowed out. Wood can be straight, even eroded as some stones are, it can take wondrous or seemly impossible shapes, it can grow eyes and limbs, it can spread cracks on its surface and actually crack stones open too. And this wood was only white, black or grey (with a brownish or yellow cast to it).

From tree trunk to tree trunk I walked, using the tree stumps as planks to walk on, thinking that perhaps water had brought and scattered them there. I do not know how this place evolved to the stage I have now stumbled upon, or if all trees have such potential deep inside them, only it is not brought forth by lightning bolts or floods and fires and the sun. Perhaps it is so. Still, wood’s many forms may be turned symbolic, if one knows how; also, one may use compositions as further aid.

To see all the beings depicted here, one needs to tilt one’s head, and the lens with one’s eye. But searching is easy, sometimes quite frantic, when you jump from one find to another, from one sheep’s head to the body of a stretched out, tired and worn, rabbit in the grass. (…)


Tormented Rabbit



Archaic Bird Head


For more images and the entire essay you can download the original articles as Word documents in English and Romanian.

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