Investigation of the crossroad of Waterloo Road and Colchester Avenue began with a simple walk around the area. On the corner, behind the traffic lights, there is a felled tree looking like an empty plinth. It is standing in its dignity calling for the higher purpose in its sudden destiny.
On site, we have discovered there are tree trunks on adjacent pavements. Being three of us we have decided to respond to the site by forming the Treeptych – the set of three independently created artworks meant to be appreciated together. Why were those trees felled? Have the trees’ rights been fully considered? Do human lives matter more than those of non-human bodies? Is there something out there we can do?
Investigating the area we found it is a common problem that the healthy trees are being cut down. There is a big stand against the felling of the trees in Waterloo Gardens and Roath Brook Gardens by the residents of Roath. The council is preparing the flood defence scheme which should result into cutting 149 trees of the gardens. Motivated by the initiative taken upon by the local people to fight for their trees we decide to take action as well.
In response to the injustice, we are each creating an artwork from the felled trees on the nearby crossroad. We are seeking to support the local community and get the passer-bys involved in the issue too. Each tree is considered individually – each of us is bringing the different perspective to the project. Non is using the pyrography technique to illustrate a message on the top of the trunk. She gives the tree a voice. Her funny approach is giving us a power to stand against something we do not agree with and to not let anybody to spoil the good spirit. Micha’s magic box attached on the opposite side of her tree trunk is showing the drawings created by people from the community who were asked to draw what the rest of the tree could look like. Viewing the trunk via the magic box we can see that the tree has sprouted a new live again through these drawings. I was looking at the tree from the view of its inhabitants aiming to anthropomorphize them. My tree stump is not just a cut tree but has started to regrow once again. The miniature world is depicting a small village rebuilding their once marvelous home.
We think that cutting the healthy trees is not the solution, however, it is usually common practise within the urban development. The intervention should thus point out the problem and raise the awareness. Introducing the art in the public realm can encourage, engage and empower. Anybody can join the initiative and let their trees speak. Through our little actions we encourage other people to reclaim the felled trees and see the potential to give them the voice, to become a plinth, a platform, a place for social interaction, a sculpture, a canvas, a landmark or a muse.
We would like to give the tree trunks a new meaning so they are not silently standing along the road. As well as, we hope this project will bring a better practise and consideration in the tree’s preservation.
We plant a seed and hope something will grow.