In my work “2030” I explore the visual representation of trees. The tree of life has long been a part of many cultures as a symbol of wisdom, strength and forgiveness. It has continuously been inspirational to artists, religions and the average person. The symbol of the tree represents our human understanding that trees connect the spirit with the physical. It is a symbol of rebirth and the cyclic nature of life.
In life, as in art, a single dead tree is majestic. Standing for decades in stillness as it contributes to the vast ecosystem surrounding it. With Australia’s forests being reshaped by climate change: increasing droughts, heatwaves, rising temperatures and bushfires, driving our ecosystem for collapse; I worry the dead tree will become an all too familiar sight. No longer majestic in its singularity, but melancholic in its plenitude.
With deforestation accounting for 18% of global emissions (surpassing vehicles and aircraft combined), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International’s inclusion of Australia on its list of global deforestation hotspots is more than worrying; especially as we are the only country in the Western world to be included.
The tree of life is a symbol, but the life-giving tree is a fact. Before we reach the point of no return, I hope we realise it and act.