I've just finished reading a wonderful book, titled 'The Song of Trees' by David George Haskell. Each chapter is about an individual tree somewhere in the world. Haskell weaves poetic stories about the links those trees share with their surrounding environment and how that influences the humans and other animals that interact with them. This narrative of 'connectivity' of all things natural really resonates with my art practice, so I found the book a great source of ideas and inspiration.
One such idea that Haskell presents in his book is the physicality of sound, particularly the sound of rain and how it reveals the shape and structure of trees.
Here is a short quote from the book:
"The water that strikes the understory has already passed across many leaves above...rhythms of the understory are born in the diversity of leaf shapes. We hear rain not through silent falling water but in the many translations delivered by objects that the rain encounters."
A few weeks ago, I posted on my blog about Remembering Trees Lost where I had printed a series of monoprints inspired by the removal of trees for road widening near where I live.
Some of those monoprints have been assembled and framed for a small series of works titled 'Memory of Trees', but I held back 56 of the card-sized prints to create a hanging book, inspired by Haskell's idea of the sound of rain and my recent experiences at the BioBlitz sitting in the rain beneath the rainforest canopy.
The prints hang on linen thread from pieces of repurposed wood. The prints are graded from dark to light to reflect the intensity of the sound of the rainfall as if the leaves are speaking the rain's language.
The book is titled 'Listening to Rain', and will be exhibited next month at 'Compassion' an exhibition of artist books on the Sunshine Coast.