The History and Mystery of Carved and Worked Trees and Tree Graffiti
The TREE STORIES exhibition and activities at the Art House Sheffield, ran from Saturday, 24 October 2015 to Saturday, 6 November 2015. The event photo gallery can be viewed here.
Overlooked and oft-forgotten, carvings on trees and tree bark are a fascinating part of human cultural history. They go back in time to prehistoric times and were of significance to people such as aboriginals who lived in harmony with land and landscape. As herding and pastoral cultures developed, tree markings were important in navigating through landscapes and for recording times, places, people and incidents. A marked tree in northern Sweden in the 1800s and recorded by Rikard Andersson, states in a local dialect ‘We have lost three cows – have you seen them?’. However, tree carvings occur widely in woods and parks today, from inner city Victorian parks to great parkland landscapes in our countryside.
Some of these Tree Stories are decades old, for example World War 2 poems or even older; others are more recent with hearts and flowers, people’s initials and dates. Selected trees become covered in this ‘graffiti’ or coins with people adding their contributions over the years and this can create a symbolic focus for communities. Our project will record individual ‘Tree Stories’ digitally, building a website gallery. Using a selection of these, artists will create new images in different media, poems and an accompanying soundtrack with the help of volunteers. An exhibition will be staged and an accompanying booklet with CD, produced to showcase and celebrate ‘Tree Stories’ and the artists’ new work.
VISIT THE TREE STORIES WEBSITE
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