Book Cover

talking to the tree outside my window when I sleep. Kai Lossgott. 2008. Artist monograph.

talking to the tree outside my window when I sleep.  2008.  Kai Lossgott.  Artist publication, litho print on 200 gsm recycled paper, 14 of 48 pages, 508 x 762 cm. Unlimited edition.


“With images delicate as pinpricks on skin, Kai Lossgott translates the dreaming human body into a universal anatomy of nerve and leaf and root – fragile but resilient. This luminous work is a love poem, an invocation, and a declaration of communion with a complex living world.”

Henrietta Rose-Innes, winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing 2008

In a fragile yet powerful statement, visual artist and writer Kai Lossgott makes minute incisions, punctures and impressions into the living tissue of plant leaves to form texts and images which are only visible against the light.

Displayed in lightboxes, the perforations gleam. One of his texts makes reference to “the inheritance of light.” Another reads, “For every branch in a tree / are a million ungrown branches,” hinting at the potential rediscovery of missing connections.

The book of poems and plant leaf engravings, ‘talking to the tree outside my window while I sleep, showcases a careful selection of four years of work. It has been praised for its intimate evocation of the personal element in green politics.

“Sometimes rarified. Sometimes rough. Exciting. Always Real. The urge to rub your face and body in the pages of this book, like you would with leaves in a pile of Autumn, rises—takes you over, allowing the beauty of the images and words to grow into you. The surrender is easy.” (Tania van Schalkwyk, winner of the Ingrid Jonker Prize for Poetry, 2010)


a million ungrown branches. Kai Lossgott. 2010. Laser engraving on poplar leaf, in wood & glass lightbox. 30 x 30 cm


this very moment
the leaf
when it dropped from the tree into
the mouth of the cow we ate,
did it die?
from the botanist’s press into print
between two pages
did it really die
at the bottom of my cup of tea
this very moment
the leaf
crushed small as pills a pill pills