Being among trees exhibition
Monday, 3 April–Thursday, 27 April
An exhibition from Libby Byrne
3-27 April 2023, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre
When words fail me, being in the studio helps in making sense of the world.
This new body of work emerges from several years of attending more deeply to the life of the trees that surround and companion me every day. For many years I have walked enjoyed routinely along a path that follows a local creek, appreciating the way the trees continue to hold space for me, even as they are changed and shaped by the weather, we both endure. But in late 2021 I watched my neighbour excavating the land nearby and in doing so, undermining the existence of a healthy gum tree. As the roots of this tree were laid bare, I went into the studio to paint the grief that I felt and understand the depth of my response to the inevitable loss of this tree.
It seems that in choosing to live among trees, we choose to live within a nexus of risk and power. In being among the trees that surround my studio as I make this work, I am becoming more deeply aware of the interdependence that shapes our life with trees. Trees welcome the CO2 that I cannot bear, and in turn offer me life, in the form of oxygen. As I learn to see the way trees live interdependently with one another, I see a healthy exchange between risk and power, shaping the way I can choose to live with other people. I am learning to really see trees, in the way I see people, and I am wondering about what it is like, to be a being, among trees.