Forest Sanctuary, 2018
Sticks, twine, white cotton, leaves, pine needles, jasmine vine, bamboo, clay, wax
Image: Keith Maxwell
Forest Sanctuary is inspired by scientist’s increasing use of artificial nests to boost breeding amongst birds, insects and mammals in Australia, ironically usually to undo catastrophic events from climate change and habitat destruction caused by humans in the first place. It consists of interconnected miniature rope ladders that lead to small imaginary nests made by the artist for non human species in the rainforest.
The audience is invited to discover these nests in the rainforest by following the ladders. Each ladder, a few metres in length, weaves its way through the rainforest, even underneath and above the boardwalk: a playful visual pathway to lead the audience from nest to nest through this ecosystem, this sanctuary for the other.
All nests and ladders are made from natural materials such as sticks, leaves, pine needles, vines, clay and bamboo, mostly foraged by the artist. Hemp and white cotton are used as signs of the human touch, in the form of knots and visible stitching, alluding to the Anthropocene – our very own human-made epoch. The work asks us to remember that forest ecosystems are home to many non-human species who rely on them for breeding, food, shelter, and indeed life.