Community-driven, ecological art project, Tree Archive (2020+), was developed to investigate and encourage an increased appreciation and a renewed recognition of the symbiotic existence we share with trees and their expansive ecosystems. Acting as catalyst, my aim is to encourage global collaborative input from a participating audience, cultivating an ever-expansive collective archive of the world’s trees.
Tree Archive started as a means to create art with minimal materials, space or human contact due to the temporary limitations on physical interaction during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project began by recording and archiving the trees in my local park, creating a collection of small lino prints made using the materials I had available. This concept quickly grew when considering the ways in which the project could engage and invite public participation via an online platform and recognising the potential for it to grow and develop over time.
Time is an important consideration for Tree Archive, a long-standing commitment that will span for many years, collating an accumulation of materials to build an artwork with impact, conveying the magnitude of the core environmental subject through a work that is produced over a long period of time.
Tree Archive invites participants to submit a tree/leaf/seed image alongside a piece of writing describing the profound significance their chosen tree has to them. The images are then transformed into lino prints and recorded onto the ever-expanding online archive, along with hand printed letterpress prints inspired by the submitted texts.
Although the print-works are a core part of Tree Archive and maintain the importance of physical art, they are not the whole, they are a visual component in an ecology of interest and a way of visualising the collaborative endeavour. While this project focusses on individual connections, memories and associations, it also connects the local to the planetary by highlighting the importance of trees to human existence in varying locations across the globe.
Below are images of Tree Archive showcased in its physical form, for the #UOGMAFAshowcase21 expo at Hardwick Gallery , May 22-27th, 2021.