To the fallen trees

With collaborating artists Marnie Badham, Ai Yamamoto & George Akl

9 October 2022, One Tree Hill, Tremont

Community participants: Julie Tipene O’Toole, Lia Hills, Emmet Wong Hulbert, Richard & Katelin Farnsworth, Cameron Semmens, Marian Spires, Leslie Almberg, Liz Millman and Emmet Wong Hulbert. In partnership with the Big Anxiety Festival 2022, Yarra Ranges Art Attack, Yarra Ranges Regional Museum & Ridgewalk/ngurrak barring


What if we memorialized ecological loss like we did battles?
(Alan Sonfist, artist, 1968)

Taking the material wreckage of the recent extreme weather events as its starting point, ‘To the fallen trees…’ was a public and performative artwork. Creative engagement for local writers, artists and residents at the site of One Tree Hill has created a shared space and responsive connection to place. ‘To the fallen trees…’ explores eco-anxiety through affective engagement where dozens of tall, almost centurian Eucalyptus trees dramatically fell in the windstorms of June 2021. This wreckage laid in neat piles for 14 months, creating new growth, and now finally has returned to the earth through burning. 

 The public reading of written letters to these fallen trees draws attention to ecological loss, holds space for collective memory, and creates local meaning making while activating social care. The documentation of these community poetics will inform the creation of a collective memorial for the fallen trees in audio and visual forms.
The artists acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation as the traditional custodians of the site of this artwork. We give respect acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past and present and recognise their unbroken connection to Country and culture from which we benefit from today. 

The project was performed on Sunday 9 October and is currently being edited into a sound work, which will live on the Yarra Ranges Ridgewalk / Ngurrak Barring website - watch this space. 

Images and video
: 1. The performance at One Tree Hill, Tremont, photo by George Akl and 2. Emmet reading his letter to the fallen trees, photo by Tammy Wong Hulbert 3. To the fallen trees..., soundscape, composed by Ai Yamamoto 4. Letters by Katelin Farnsworth, Cameron Semmens and Lia Hills 5. To the fallen trees video, produced by Shane Hulbert

Links to the Project