Alison Clouston & Boyd

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World tree (part 3)

Denmark Arts Council invited Alison Clouston to Brave New Works 2010, a festival of the arts in the beautiful southwest of Western Australia. As the inaugural artist to work on the newly opened Kwoorabup Art Trail, which winds up the river through town and beyond, she spent two weeks as artist-in-residence, working on site.

"I found it an amazing privilege to work in this place, in this community. The people and the history here reveal the colonial devastation of Indigenous peoples and forests, then the struggle and hope of the alternative communities that came and thrived here, striving to create a new relationship to nature. I wanted to honour this. A huge forest giant of a tree, a remnant indigenous Eucalypt, had fallen into the river along the trail. Climbing on it,  I saw that someone had lopped its mighty branches to allow canoes through. With the help of community members, I made prosthetic limbs for the tree with candlesticks made from glass preserving jars and hammered wire, and on opening night, a procession of people walked up the track to witness my performance of the lighting of them all, one by one, a precarious log-running in the dark, over the black water. The audience began to join me on the tree, lounging, laughing, falling in, swimming, celebrating."

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