2018 Breathing in Trees - Solo Exhibition - HOTA, Gold Coast
Photo: Carl Warner.
The title of this artwork combines part of a quote from Tokyo resident’s response to my question about the value of plants, and sightings made during walks in Suginami City.
Youkobo Art Space sits within the prefecture of Suginami City, one of Tokyo’s 23 special wards (Municipality areas). Not far from Youkobo are remnants of what was once the greenbelt of Tokyo – a few market gardens remain along with plant nurseries and community gardens. It was here that I saw the gumboots and reflected our role in shaping and constructing environments.
In Tokyo, street and garden trees are often staked in a very aesthetically pleasing manner. Pruned plants have architectural qualities, but I liked the idea that plants are also residents of the city.
In this work I’ve combined many plant references from various types of greenspace. Amongst these foliage elements are architectural or built environment elements – such as the manhole cover of Tokyo, a design with five petals to form a cherry blossom as its symbol. The plant pot collections of suburban Tokyo are also included with forms of pot hooks and besser blocks.
The base layer of gridded rectangles references tiled surfaces I saw regularly in the suburbs of Tokyo. This backdrop of built and concrete environment is what I saw greenspace fitting around.