Say My Name and I Will Tell You My Story
Artworks printed on fabric using botanical printing technique directly with Eucalyptus bark. This series is part of a long-term art project, exploring the stories of Eucalyptus trees, from their indigenous wisdom and meanings to their use in our contemporary Western society. 'Recently I had a dream - a sacred Eucalyptus tree appeared to me. I felt it's invitation, the call to help eucalyptus trees communicate their message. To use my skills as an artist to engage people to think and feel differently towards a different relationship to these trees. In this project the voice of Eucalyptus tree is at the center. A project that responds to the invitation of the Eucalyptus tree, through intuition, learning and surrender. These artworks have emerged in an organic way, through many walks, observation, listening, and then using the natural materials the trees offer - Eucalyptus leaves and bark printed directly on fabric. Through my art, the trees are given a voice, they speak to us.' The symbolic message of my dream was strongly present within me, I let myself be guided by the spirit of the tree. I began experimenting with botanical printing techniques, a process which allows the leaves and the bark of the trees to give out tannins and express them as images on fabric. I created a series of works on paper, as preliminary studies and moving onto cotton fabric, creating larger scale scrolls, which you can see in the space. Through listening to the trees, I understood it is not their fault that they are here, in Portugal, in such numbers. I understood they have a message for us humans, they have a role to play in our changing world, they can be a part of balanced ecosystems. The trees persuaded me to open a conversation, to move towards finding new solutions, to set aside the old pattern of complaining and blaming trees, time has come for humans to take responsibility for our species’ actions. Eucalyptus trees, everyone knows it in Portugal, are neither rivered nor appreciated: a convenient path to easy cash for some, a source of worry and frustration for others. In Portugal, talking about Eucalyptus is a taboo, a controversial subject due to its association with monoculture, desertification, fires, land degradation, and complex business, regulatory and human realities, for which the tree has become a scapegoat. Say my name and I will tell you my story gives Eucalyptus trees, or gum trees as they are called in Australia, a voice and brings forth their message. The trees open the possibility for us to ask them questions, communicate with them and perhaps tell a new story.