next tree-sculptures: August 21st in Vulcan Park, Workington, and 27th at Harraby, Carlisle …and this is my latest tree sculpture in Chances Park, at Morton Park Community Centre (park double!).
I’ve had them in and out-doors, on their trunks, their roots and their branches, an have taken them with me on the train: doubling their exhibitions: for every exhibition I took them to, I had another exhibition on the train with them – with my ‘string orchestra’!
When I I started taking my yarn to the trees and their branches, as a way of highlighting their importance, I came a little closer to their world, and whilst working yarn all around, I found my fingers to be derived from their branches, – whilst they were holding me, and a dialogue, an embrace ensued.
I was yarning networks around their branches, like little tiny temporary and symbolic echoes of the rich network systems that they create and uphold around them.
Eacn tree is a network, a world in itelf, a life, a complex of lives! The network i have woven around this tree is a Trees come and go, yet they stay, if we let them! They come out of the earth, and go into the earth, carrying on a constant exchange. Whilst we are on the ground-level, they operate on three levels: three is tree!
I learned a lot about mutlifolded-ness, both in nature and of us: I found that there is an ancient traditional festival in India, where trees are worshipped in quite a similar way. How interesting I started doing something that is akin to a practice elsewhere! We are united in our tree communion! A sign of our common origin and heritage.
Maybe the spreading roots of the trees reach back into our DNA, to our multicultural genes, and the branches take them forward. A tree as a junction, a place of encounter.
The trees tell our story then! It is, however, more tragic when our story becomes tragic: I had the opportunity to exhibit at the Rum Story Gallery in Whitehaven – a gallery that lays bare Whitehaven’s slave trading past. It is from the Caribbean, after all, where rum originates – forming one of the points into which the slave trade was abhorrently conducted. Behind the shop of rum is the museum of this our tortured past, in which we might find ourselves as oppressors, or as oppressed, or somewhere in the middle, more or less attached to oppressorship by family roots, family – yes: – trees!
And here we were, artists, responding? Art – history! (article to follow) I felt the need to respond, out of a concern for the stories within our history, herstories, and their legacies. How can we displace the impact of these bitter legacies if we don’t talk about them. So here I was, with my branches for me art – and these branches had fallen off, or been severed from, and they have roots. And so have we! Roots! Me using branches is telling a story of our origin in reverse.
May this too, be a story of healing, with colours for our diverse community, and a conversation between us. This then, would be peace, where we acknowledge each other’s stories. If we did, we wouldn’t harm each other anymore, so we thereby making justice.
On the first pic you can see the tree sculpture I did in Chances Park, Carlisle. Give peace a chance!