Exhibition held at the Maquarie University Art Gallery, NSW, 26 October - 15 December 2011
Arboreal explores the way trees are more than just biochemical entities but living cultures within their own right and capable of collecting narratives of historical and contemporary importance. The exhibition designed as vignettes, will incorporate the indoor museum space with that of the outdoor Arboretum museum to engage viewers with the different ways we understand and interact with nature. Taking a social history view of art, tree narratives, which have touched diverse and connected themes of exploration, colonialism, exploitation, environmental degradation and indigenous sacred sites and knowledge, are of vital importance to our current understanding of the environmental crisis we now all face. The changing depiction of the tree over the historical period will be explored in relation to the changing views about national identity. In the current climate we feel contemporary artists have extended the dialogue to make us aware of the importance of protection to safe-guard trees as sacred eco-spiritual objects which is of contemporary socio-political relevance. The exhibition will comprise a variety of media including painting, photography, holography, video and installation art.