Tree Veneration Artist Entries
Hobart Hughes & Penny Simons
This collaborative work is about play in the animal realm. All animals play; it’s a way of learning about the world and it is both instinctive (nature) and the interaction with other animals (nurture). The work is designed to be interactive so the viewer can be part of the play turning a handle that rocks the horizontal beam and makes the woven birds’ heads and wings move up and down.
Penny Simons & Hobart Hughes formed a new collaborative team for this project. Their diverse talents overlap perfectly in this work; Hughes bringing fabrication and engineering skills in wood, whilst Simons brings her skills in botanical assemblage.
We Are One
‘We Are One’ is a metaphor for nurturing our environment and the innate importance of biodiversity. The elements held within the hand’s palm are from and represent the myriad of forms within the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. Acknowledging we are all part of the ONE system. The twined rope embroidered within the surface of the sculpture follows the lines of palmistry, an ancient form of divination. They thread all the fragments of nature together, reminding us that all elements within our natural world are inextricably connected and integral to one another. Made with 100% materials foraged from nature.
Penny Simons has worked as an artist and designer all her life, alongside the practise of gardening and working in and with nature.
Beneath Our Feet
Kit Hoisington, Amanda Farquharson, Jane Green & Elizabeth Gervay
An above-ground, collaborative artists’ installation about tree roots by members of Sydney’s Tree Veneration, calls attention to the many functions of tree roots, all of which take place out of our sight, underground.
Since the 1990s, researchers and foresters have discovered that as well as providing water and nutrients, tree roots form extensive connective networks, and share nutrients and information among them. Mother trees identify which saplings are theirs and feed them. When healthy communities of trees are well established, trees will feed others that are ill or under attack. Sometimes there will be seasonal variations in the directions of shared nutrients. Trees also share information chemically about insect attacks, allowing other trees to prepare defences.
Knowledge about the complexity of root systems is still growing. ‘Beneath Our Feet‘ reminds us of the importance of these networks of tree roots so complex that they are also known as the Wood Wide Web.