Hello, welcome to the first digest from the Forest Portal 🌱
A place for sharing occasional updates and musings on the growing project ‘Conversations with the Forest’.
Conversations with the Forest is a living, breathing and growing artwork, unfurling over time for our descendants. Using plant species native to the region, the forest will become a ‘paradise’ people can enjoy in Surfers Paradise on Kombumerri land.
Over the past month and continuing for the next few months I am in residency at Studio 8-04 Cavil Lane, and next week I am hosting a project launch, open studio and conversation with collaborators; Indigenous Ranger Justine Dillon and Plant Bioacoustics and Cognition Researcher Monica Gagliano.
I would love to invite you to come along, find out more about the project, leave a message for the future forest and witness the forest beginning to grow at Studio 8-04 Cavill Lane.
When: Thursday 26th August at 6:00pm
What: Project launch, open studio, artist talk.
Due to current restrictions there are a limited number of in-person places available for the event. In light of this there will be an online livestream of the conversation. You can register for the in-person or the online at the below link.
‘Survival increases when saplings are embedded within the human social network. A tree planted by it’s human neighbours will live longer than one placed by an anonymous contractor. A street tree that is granted personhood and membership, one that is noticed, loved and given identity and history, lives longer than a municipal object arriving with no context and living with no collaborators’ - David George Haskell, The Songs of Trees
This week I have been pondering on this paragraph and considering the agency of the trees and people who will grow with this artwork.
I would love to know if you have any stories to share about your tree neighbours?
I have been thinking about a tree I planted when I was a kid, a fruit tree called a grumichama, remembering how in summer it becomes laden with little sweet cherry like fruit, how I would spend hours outside eating these berries, how the vitality of fresh picked berries is what makes this memory and taste so clear, I have been remembering the waxy leaves, the bursting juices, the slimy seed, the bitter fruit skin, remembering the time I spent with this little tree that is now three times as tall as me, thinking about the confluence of my memories and the memories the tree holds and about how this tree now feeds my nieces and nephews.
In process this week:
📖 Reading: How Forests Think: Toward an Anthology beyond the Human, Eduardo Kohn
👂 Listening: Emergence Magazine: The Forest of Orchids
🌱 Propagating: Wallum Banskia, Coastal Banksia, Beach Bird’s eye, Small-leaved Fig, Tulipwood & Tuckeroo.
❓ Asking: How does the forest listen?
‘Conversations with the Forest’ is being developed with GENERATE GC, an initiative of City of Gold Coast in partnership with Situate Art in Festivals (TasDance), and is proudly supported by City of Gold Coast RADF, Cavill Lane Surfers Paradise and Creative Partnerships Australia MATCH Lab.