Tree veneration art show opens at Chippo Child Care Centre

Canopy Invite

On 24 November, 6 – 8 pm, the art show, Canopy, opens at the Chippendale Child Care Centre, Pine Street.


Artists have been celebrating trees at the Centre by venerating them.  The idea is explained by Louise Fowler-Smith in a flier for the show:

“Louise has been researching the Sacred Tree for the past decade and has found that the practice of venerating the Tree through decoration protects the Tree in countries such as India. Her research has led her to question whether it is possible for the artist to inspire a re-envisioning of the environment through the aesthetic; and whether sacredness can be transferred through artistic vision without transplanting any specific religious ideology.

The Tree Veneration Society aims to re-contextualise the historical practice of the worship and veneration of trees across nearly all cultures into a progressive contemporary community art project. While being environmentally conscious of the value of trees, particularly in inner-city suburbs, they also hope to bring some sense of the ritual created in forming a cross-cultural celebration of nature. “

There’s works with the trees and plants by three artists:

  • Australian artist, Pia May Courtley explores traces of human intervention on the natural landscape. Juxtaposing natural/found materials with synthetic ones she has created a web of handmade leaves, which hang delicately from a eucalyptus tree.
  • Canadian artist, Lauren Tregenza created the leaf shelter using recycled plastics, which were layered to produce leaves with varying colours and textures, each one unique.  This technique allows for the artwork to be made out of recycled materials, showing the potential usefulness of otherwise forgettable litter.
  • Japanese/Australian artist Miho Watanabe is interested in the collective unconscious of all living forms. She combines children’s drawings with that of her own left hand drawings and has attached these to the Tree for the children to enjoy and respond to.

It is hoped that this tree installation will be one of many in Chippendale and wider Sydney; Louise envisages these sites becoming meeting places and areas of contemplation, as they are in India.

Go the trees,


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  • Michael Mobbs

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