Tree corset

Created during Shona Wilson‘s “Collaborations with Nature” ephemeral land art workshop at Eramboo, Terrey Hills, 2014

Tree corset” was created at the end of the¬†workshop, in which we could only work with what we found in the environment and our hands. No materials, no tools. The brief for our final piece was to create something¬†large-scale on a site in situ, that created connection within the landscape.

We chose a spot then had 2 hours to work with the space. We had to stay with that space, even if our original ideas failed, until we created something that we felt worked. I chose this tree because it had been struck by lightning and split in two, and no longer had a heart.

After at least 3 frustrating, failed attempts to pull off ideas around providing the tree with a new heart, I really hated that tree! I sat and stared at it for a while, and then the idea came to me that it didn’t need a new heart; it needed a way to be put back together. And so the idea of stitching it a corset was born.

It was quite difficult to get right; it was a very windy day and I didn’t think such a big tree would move so much when the wind blew! But both parts moved and in different directions. Plus the inside of the tree was rotting and riddled with termites, so just when I thought I’d found a place to wedge the sticks, the wind would blow or something would crumble and fall, and down the sticks would come.

But I persisted and loved the end result!