TVS artists finalists in the North Sydney Art Prize

The Tree Veneration Society have several artists involved in this year’s art prize. Please come along and show your support from 11th May.

Details: North Sydney Council’s biennial art prize at the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability in Waverton features over 90 Australian artists.

Selected artworks respond to a curatorial theme addressing local and global concerns including sustainability, climate action, and consumer culture.

The diverse selection includes printmaking, drawing, painting, photography, sculptures, textiles, new media, and site-specific installations displayed throughout the Centre’s unique post-industrial setting including the subterranean tunnels and chambers.

When: 11 May – 2 June
Where: Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability
2 Balls Head Drive, Waverton 

Opening hours: Wednesday-Friday 10am-3pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm @artsandculturenthsyd @thecoalloader #whatsonnorthsydney #northsydneyliving

Rally For Native Forests

Image: promotional video still by Jane Green.

On Sunday 24th March 2024, communities came together in rallies across the nation in solidarity as defenders of native forests, and in objection to their ongoing destruction. The rallies were organised by the Bob Brown Foundation ( and supported with passionate speeches by community leaders, environmental scientists, federal and state senators, and young concerned citizens. The events were well covered in an article published on the same day in the Guardian, which featured images of the rally in Sydney, including participating members of the Dirt Witches and the Tree Veneration Society.

TVS Members – Jenny, Paula, Peggy, Sally, Jan, Adrienne, Jane, Kit, Terhi, Louise, Jane and 7 friends of TVS had a visible presence!  

Exhibition Opening: Tree Tales, 1st November, 2023

TREE TALES reflects individual responses to the contemporary condition of the natural world, especially trees and their ecosystems, and includes film, photographs, sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking and installation.

CURATED BY Bernadette Smith, Sue Stevens and Jan Garben

FEATURING WORKS BY Louise Nade, Louise Fowler-Smith, Jan Garben, Bernadette Smith, Sue Stevens, Zorica Purlija, Terhi Hakola, Kit Hoisington, Amanda Farquharson, Elizabeth Gervay, Jane Green, Danja Derkenne, Jade Gunn, Hobart Hughes, Jude Fowler-Smith, Penny Simons, Mark Elliot-Ranken, Marie Geissler

2 – 12 NOVEMBER 2023
OPENING: 6 – 8 pm Wednesday 1 November
CHRISSIE COTTER GALLERY: 31a Pidcock Street Camperdown
GALLERY HOURS: 11am – 4pm, Thursday – Sunday

The Tree Ven Society at Nan Tien Temple Tree Day

Members of TVS were excited to be invited to participate in a Temple Tree Day at the Nan Tien Temple, the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere, on Saturday 7 October
The Tree Creatures workshop with Amanda Farqhuarson and Elizabeth Gervay

The Listening Tree Workshop with Louise Fowler Smith.

The Bodhi Tree in Chalk, created by visitors to the Temple and members of TVS.

The Temple Tree Tour, with Peggy Wallach and Sandra Fein.

Celebrating Temple Trees with Tumeric, with Kassandra Bossell

As a way to celebrate the trees and bring out their beautiful forms, Kassandra painted their limbs and roots with turmeric. Turmeric is not harmful to the tree – on the contrary, it’s a natural fungicide and antimicrobial agent often used in horticultural practice to heal tree wounds.

About Turmeric – People of ancient India believed that turmeric contained the energy of the Divine Mother, helped to grant prosperity, cleanse the chakras (energy centers in the body), and purify the channels of the subtle body. Its antimicrobial and antifungal effects are world renowned in eastern and western medicine and horticulture.

The ringing of the Temple bell.

Temple Tree Day

A day of nature and artistic celebration!

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a garden lover, or simply looking to explore the Nan Tien Temple, this event offers a range of nature inspired activities and workshops that are fun for the whole family. Lots of free events for this tree – mendous day 🌳

Highlight: Buddhist Tree Blessing ceremony | Free to attend or you may wish pay $10 to receive your Buddhist blessed bottlebrush native seedling to take home to plant.

Program Details & Timetable

Nan Tien Temple has teamed up with the Tree Veneration Society artists to bring you Temple Tree Day. Immerse yourself in a day of tree celebration. Take time out to create a day for Buddhist practice to honour trees and your creative well-being at the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere. By taking home your Buddhist blessed tree to plant, together we will create a ‘Field of Commitment’, an interconnected expanded art practice originated from Emerita Professor Shelley Sacks, UK.

Details on the day

You will love this day if you are:                                                           

  • Nature lover, gardener, bee protector  
  • Looking to learn more about Buddhism for daily practice                             
  • Conservation supporter                                                                       
  • Health and wellness enthusiast
  • Families with children
“Our collective commitment ensures we are a catalyst for change”.

Louise Fowler-Smith, President & Artist, Tree Veneration Society, Sydney.

Tree Day Activities

1. Buddhist Blessing Tree Ceremony – Main Shrine | Free – $10 | 🪴

Join us for a monastic-led short ceremony. Free to attend or pay $10 to receive a Buddhist blessed native tree seedling (bottle brush) to plant at home and has a yellow band symbolic of your commitment to nurture nature. Experience the expanded art practice called ‘field of committment

2. Tree Veneration Society Temple Garden Tour | Free | 45 min 🌳

Part storytelling, part performance, join this informative guided walking tour with professional artists and committed conservationists from the Tree Veneration Society. Sharing their expertise, you’ll discover the secrets behind the symbolism and significance of the designs within a Chinese Buddhist Garden.

3. Giant Bodhi Tree Chalk Mural | Free | Drop in 9am – 4pm 🎨

Work alongside artists from the Tree Veneration Society to help draw the giant mural of a Bodhi Tree. Perfect photo opportunity and great creative fun. Soft matts provided.

4. Tree Meditation | Free | 45 min 🧘🏽10am – 10.45 am

Tree Meditation is a profound practice that involves immersing yourself in the presence of trees to cultivate a deep connection with nature, the wisdom of trees and absorb their tranquil vibrations. A very grounding experience. Join us amongst the tranquil grove of trees and bird songs

5. Tree Creature Workshop + Listen to the recorded inner sounds of a Tree| Free | Drop in 9am – 2pm 🌱

Bind, weave and twine interesting tree elements to assemble imaginative creatures with Tree Veneration Society artist Amanda Farquharson. A workshop suited to all ages (< 12’s with parents). Listen the recording of the inside of trees with headphones.

6. Backyard Beekeeping with Rachel Peedom from BeeInspired | Free | Drop in 9am – 2pm 🐝

Take another step towards sustainability and help the natural world thrive. Planting trees helps our pollinators. Why not take the next step to becoming a backyard beekeeper. Highly educational and hands on, you will see inside the hive and learn loads more about this delicious hobby.  

7. Mindful drawing classes with Kathy Karas | $10 | 11am – 11:45am 🖼️

Enjoy another form of meditation and experience the temple gardens in a new way. Take your pencil for a walk. You will learn new techniques and approaches to produce several sketches of the gardens.  Experience the temple gardens in new ways.

8. Tai Chi | Free | Drop in 9.30-10.00am  

Start the day with the gentle movements of Tai Chi, one of the most effective exercises for a healthy mind and body. Join the group at the Nan Tien Health & Wellbeing Markets, Nan Tien Institute side.

Tree Creatures Workshop – Varna Park

TVS Member Amanda Farquharson was invited to run one of her wonderful Tree Creature-making sessions over the weekend, as part of ‘Second Nature’, a Waverley Council sustainability initiative.

Members of the public swapped between Tree Planting and Tree Creature-making sessions, resulting in a hugely enjoyable day out, celebrating community, art and nature.

Instagram: @amanda.m.farquharson

Through walking in nature, noting and gathering curious and interesting elements to selectively assemble, bind, weave and twine into sculptural works, so developing empathy & veneration for trees. Nature nurtures, as we contemplate our interconnection with nature.

Exhibition: Botanica Materia Medica, Plants and Healing

Date: 29 Jul – 13 Aug, 2023
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: Lion Gate Lodge, Mrs Macquaries Road, RBG Sydney
Cost: FREE

Event website

Congratulations to the following artists for being accepted into Botanica De Materia Medica: Plants X Healing at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

Nilavan Adams, Julia Allcorn , Beverly Allen, Ro Bancroft, Debbie Bourke, Deb Chirnside , Niki Coates, Alissa Cook, Elizabeth Cooper, Rosemary Donnelly, @amanda.m.farquharson , Kerry Ferguson, Lindsey Goff, @pat_hall_art , @a.hallan , Anne Hayes, @garth_henderson , Tanya Hoolihan, @adrienne_hunt_sydney , Kerriann Indorato, Christine Johnson, @lindajoyceartist , @by_sooka_art , Jenny Lee, @angelaloberartist , @lindalunnonillustrations , @marchantvickie , Janet Mathews, Debra Meier, @alisonmitchellartist , Christina Mucha, Clare Nicholson ,@katenolanart , @granny_attic , @johnpastoriza , Julie Patterson, Pamela Pauline, @botanicalarttv , Anne Saville, @shippisart , @lisashepherdfloralartist , @artbyavantika , @glennrsmith66 , Tina Spira , Claire Stack, Ruth Thompson, @ledaart , Bronwyn Van de Graaff, Anna Van Der Gardner , @trebouxia , Penny Walton, Peta West

Finding the divine in the natural world

RN Broadcast Thu 17 Nov 2022 at 3:00pm

With the latest round of UN climate talks wrapping up recently, it’s a good time to ask a fundamental question: Who are we, in relation to nature? What kinds of relationships bind us to other beings, like trees?

Maybe even amid climate change we can approach nature with celebration – even veneration?… Read more and Listen to the Interview here