ForceofNature.eco artists Dan Monceaux and Emma Monceaux have two artworks showing in the group art exhibition Inspired by Trees, which opened on September 29 in the Burnside Atrium at the Burnside Civic Centre. The exhibition is part of South Australia’s 2021 Nature Festival. Curated by the staff of Pepper Street Arts Centre in Magill, the exhibition features work from over 50 South Australian artists who were invited to respond to the following statement:
“The natural world is a vital component of the human experience, providing food, water, air, relaxation and inspiration. Trees are conspicuous ambassadors of the natural world, their lives entwined within the cycles of resources on which we depend. Trees are also conspicuous in our community, bringing beauty, peace, shelter, wildlife and wellbeing. Trees are fundamental to the landscape of Burnside.”
Emma’s work Funeral for a Tree is a starkly-lit nocturnal portrait of a tree that is no longer standing. It was cut down during the redevelopment of Glenside, a former mental health precinct which lies within the City of Burnside. Many trees there were felled to accommodate residential construction. Emma staged the photograph in 2017, casting intense red light onto the tree from below and shooting on film with a long-exposure technique to give the image an ethereal, other-worldly quality. Her artist statement reads:
“This mature Eucalyptus tree was photographed at the Glenside Hospital site where hundreds of trees were felled to make way for a housing development in 2017. Before the chainsaws and bulldozers moved in, the land contained large areas of green space, including many mature trees deemed Regulated and Significant for their size and age. Despite community opposition, the housing development proceeded, removing habitat and food for native wildlife, including protected species like the Brushtail possum. Green spaces are proven to be beneficial to people’s mental and physical health, and provide invaluable cooling in our increasingly warming climate. Sadly, our green spaces are shrinking with increasing urban development and high density living. By creating concrete jungles that will be too hot to live in during Summer in some areas, we’re reducing the space needed for natural environments to flourish and provide benefits to ourselves and to native flora and fauna.”
Dan’s new work This tree is our home is thematically-related. Loss of habitat due to the felling of mature trees has long been a concern of the artist, who also personally lobbied for the erection of possum boxes as some compensation for the loss of large trees in parks in Unley and Adelaide. The artwork was drawn, then machine-cut from coloured paper and assembled by hand with tape and glue.
The other works in the show are mostly two-dimensional- a range of drawings, paintings, textiles, a mosaic, some mixed media and digital prints on paper or canvas. They demonstrate a diverse range of approaches to the theme and will fill the walls of the Burnside Atrium at the Burnside Civic Centre until October 22, 2021. The Burnside Atrium is open Monday to Friday, from 8.30am until 5pm.
Also on display are a collection of award-winning tree-inspired poetry by high school students and an artwork made by children from Kensington Gardens Kindergarten. Visitors to the exhibition can also cast a vote for a People’s Choice award by filling out a form at the service desk.
- Burnside Civic Centre
- Corner of Greenhill Rd & Portrush Rd, Burnside, South Australia
- Open hours – Monday to Friday, 8.30 am – 5 pm
- Last day: October 22, 2021
- Wheelchair accessible. Onsite parking available.
- Free entry.