Chapter Ten
Tree Veneration: How Ancient Traditions can Lead to Pro-Environmental Behaviour

By Louise Fowler-Smith

Book Chapter in ‘Using the Visual and Performing Arts to Encourage Pro-Environmental Behaviour’. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, England. ISBN: 1-5275-5715-4. ISBN13: 978-1-5275-5715-4. Release Date: 12th October 2020

In 2003, I made my first field trip to India to research sacred trees and tree groves and continued to do so over the following ten years. Initially attracted to the enchanting beauty of these trees, I became committed to their study after learning that the veneration of the tree has the ability to protect trees from logging (Fowler-Smith, 2018: 262). In Hindu cultures, tree veneration through adornment demarcates the tree as set apart and special, inviting people to place further decorative items as offerings and glorifications to the gods. This broadens the way society approaches the tree with the aesthetic enhancement enabling a change of consciousness and the transformation of the tree into a sacred object, contributing to its protection… Read More


Chapter Eleven
Aesthetically Pleasing Plantings: Restoring Native Vegetation in Coastal Sydney

By Sue Stevens

Book Chapter in ‘Using the Visual and Performing Arts to Encourage Pro-Environmental Behaviour’. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, England. ISBN: 1-5275-5715-4. ISBN13: 978-1-5275-5715-4. Release Date: 12th October 2020

The connection between the visual and performing arts and caring for the natural environment has been recognised for at least the past 40-45 years; one connection being that of observation (Curtis, 2003). The project described here, while primarily a land restoration project, was designed in a non-conventional way to make it interesting and aesthetically pleasing, thus inspiring a greater appreciation of local native flora and encourage pro-environmental behaviours in local residents and visitors to the area.
I have been fascinated and inspired by… Read More


Chapter Twenty
Dissolving the Veil of Separation: Art Beyond a Human Viewpoint

by Kassandra Bossell – Eco Arts, 2019

In this chapter I describe a collaboration between ecologist, Garry Daly and myself. We worked together to create an exhibition that consisted of a single large art installation. In this exhibition (Visible / Invisible) we sought to bring together human and non-human perspectives of ecosystems. The exhibition presented organisms that are ordinarily invisible to the naked eye at a human, ‘huggable’ scale and imagined what their perspectives might be. I cannot claim to access the phenomenological viewpoint of another organism, including humans, but I can use empathy to imagine, to feel, to try to understand what it is like to be them. As co-evolving organisms with humans, they have developed capabilities on which we depend, for example phytoplankton creating oxygen… Read More


Adorning and Adoring: The Sacred Trees of India

By Louise Fowler – Smith

2018. Adorning and Adoring: The Sacred Trees of India. Special Issue on Sacred Trees, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture. USA. [JSRNC  12.3 (2018) 261-284] JSRNC (print) ISSN 1749-4907  http://doi.org.10.1558/jsrnc.33347 JSRNC (online) ISSN 1749-4915. Equinox Publishing Ltd 2018, 415 The Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2BX.

Sacred trees are found throughout India and venerated by those of varied religious groups, including animists, devotees of local cults, Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. Since 2003 I have travelled the sub-continent of India, conducting interviews and photographing the aesthetic enhancement of trees as an act of worship. Here, examples of veneration and a selection of the myths, beliefs, and rituals that underlie this practice are… Read More


Hindu Tree Veneration as a mode of Environmental Encounter

By Louise Fowler – Smith

2009. Hindu Tree Veneration as a mode of Environmental Encounter.  Published in Leonardo -The Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Science and Technology. Volume 42, Number 1 Edition. Pps 43 – 51. Coloured Photograph P.9. http://www.mitpressjournals.org/toc/leon/42/1 – under general articles.

When I came across a group of decorated trees at Palani in Tamil Nadu, India, I was immediately struck by their transformation. Their covering of golden yellow turmeric powder, broadened and even changed my perception of this otherwise normal grouping of trees set amid the bush land, to encompass a sense of reverence and enchantment. As an Australian
artist trained in the European tradition… Read More


Chapter Fourteen
Can Interdisciplinary Teaching Lead by the Arts Contribute to the Debate on Contemporary Environmental Issues?

By Louise Fowler – Smith

2017. Can Interdisciplinary Teaching Lead by the Arts Contribute to the Debate on Contemporary Environmental Issues? Book chapter in ‘Building Sustainability with the Arts’. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, England. ISBN (10): 1-4438-9133-9. ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-9133-2

Over the last twenty years, a number of projects have developed from collaborations between artists, architects, landscape designers, curators, engineers, scientists and communities that involve the remediation of land that has become environmentally depleted. This has given rise to a confluence of art, technology and social engagement, and could be considered a new form of interdisciplinary practice. My paper discusses an interdisciplinary elective… Read More