Tuesday, January 6, 2009
La Reunion Tree Carving
My friend Sarah Jane Semrad is on of the founders of an organization in my town called La Reunion. La Reunion TX is creating an arts residency in Dallas that will host artists in both new and traditional media for periods ranging from one week to one year. In exchange for live/work space, artists will be expected to give back to the community through programs, exhibits, performances, and installations. Our residency will be built on a 35 acre site in Oak Cliff and will be as green and off-grid as possible, modeling to the community sustainable living. The project sounds so amazing to me that I have been looking forward to touring the site for quite some time. This past saturday was my lucky day!
My plan was to spend the day with Joey and tour the site, but while there I learned about this really cool project they are working on and got very inspired to apply to be a part of the 2009 tree carving project.
The Tree carving project is in partners with Preservation Tree and Texas Discovery Gardens.
The artist is challenged to create SOMETHING from a tree on the La Reunion TX land as a part of the ecological thinning of dead and dying non-native trees. Long story short many of the trees need to be removed from the land, but in order to do it in an eco-friendly and creative way the trees will be banded and artists will get a chance to be creative while the tree decomposes over time.
I have been very inspired by a very cool book and documentary project called Handmade Nation. In this trailer they show a clip of Knitta' a Houston, TX group that knit items and use them to tag things such as telephone polls and street signs. This inspired me for a proposal for the La Reunion tree carving project.
Our plan is to collect donated sweaters made out of natural materials (Cotton/ wool, no synthetic materials). We plan to remove all the green branches and wrap the tree trunk from base to tip with the recycled sweaters, creating a colorful tree wrapping. The removed branches will be used to make a green color "tree skirt" at the base of the tree. With the remaining recycled materials we plan to de-constructed the yards and material to create a La Reunion logo flag and hang it from the top of the tree.
The idea is to use all natural materials. As the tree decomposes so will the natural fibers from the sweater material. Our hopes are for animals living on the land such as birds and mice to use the tree and sweater materials to create nests for living.
Last step is to see if we get accepted for the project or not....h JaHa