A boy reads a letter to a pile of dead trees, standing on green grass with Eucalyptus Trees in the background.
The texts reads THE BIG ANXIETY
To the fallen trees...
'To the fallen trees...' is a public and performative artwork responding to eco-anxiety of extreme weather events by artists Marnie Badham and Tammy Wong Hulbert for the Big Anxiety Festival. The ephemeral artwork is a collaboration with Ai Yamamoto (sound) and George Akl (photo) and a number of local hills writers. To book in for the October 9, 2022 performance, please see the Big Anxiety site here.
What if we memorialized ecological loss like we did battles? (Alan Sonfist, 1968)
Taking the material wreckage of the recent extreme weather events in the Dandenong Ranges as its starting point, To the fallen trees is a public and performative artwork. A series of community activations have created space and connection for local citizens and workers to explore eco-anxiety through affective engagement at the site of One Tree Hill where dozens of tall, almost centurian Eucalyptus trees lay in neat piles in the months following the windstorms of June 2021. The public reading of written letters to these fallen trees draws attention to ecological loss, holds space for collective memory, and creates local meaning making while activating social care. The documentation of these community poetics will inform the creation of a collective memorial for the fallen trees in audio and visual forms.
Now in their fourth collaboration as ‘Pedestrian Poetics for Public Space’, Tammy Wong Hulbert and Marnie Badham’s art-research practice explores every day emotional responses to rapid change and crises in natural and built environments. Together through visual art, performance, and social practice – they are interested in hosting dialogue about affective relationships to and collective memories of place.
Previous works local to the region include a creative cartographic artist residency at Yarra Ranges Regional Museum registering emotion in public space entitled ‘Five Weeks in Spring: an emotional map of Lilydale’ as part of the Force of Nature exhibition in 2018 and the fluxus installation ‘Pedestrian Poetics’ as part of Dancing Place: Corhanwarrabul in 2021 both curated by Gretel Taylor. The artists developed #selfiesforsolidarity in 2020 in which more than 350 digital images were created by Chinese and Australian participants in response to the initial COVID 19 outbreak in China and the Asian hate spreading in Melbourne.