Saturday, 16 March 2013


I'm pleasantly surprised (that's putting it mildly) to see Charlotte Jones post this on her Facebook page:
Waiting 5 years, rescuing it from near skipping and lugging this tree across Leicester on my back, was all worth it - it won the prestigious "People's Choice Award" at the Green Light Festival!! (Voted by a small but obviously well refined group of voters.) I'm glad it got this final outing before it goes/gets lugged to it's final resting place at Folville Primary. Well done all 150 children (now teenagers!) who made it!
Some choice quotes from the kids (they're written all over the tree, inspired by a 500 year old tree we visited):
  • In the future I would like to stop terrorism.
  • There will be a new Skittles flavour.
  • I hope I don't get shot.
  • Will the BMX track be bigger?
  • Artists should invent more animals.

Tree of Life was an educational project in which I took part, with Clare Bull, Clare Carr, Charlotte Jones and Claire Plumb for a week in the summer of 2008. It was based at Leicester's EcoHouse and used the ancient oak tree in Western Park. This involved several local schools in day-long sessions of storytelling, handicrafts, honing their thinking and speaking skills, music and movement - and new ways of seeing, thinking about and expressing their relationship to the natural world. It was one of the highlights of my post and stands out as a beautiful, enjoyable and fulfilling experience on a number of levels. The sun shone the whole week long and it all left a lovely memory.

The Tree of Life itself (made by Clare Bull, its leaves populated by the words of the schoolchildren who took part in the project) hung on the wall of the Eco House for several months, then  ... vanished. I'm glad to see that it has risen like a phoenix - if that's not too mixed a metaphor!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad that this piece of art is going to be at Folville School. The experiences and words that went into the work came from the children, and the resulting art is returning to the community in which it is rooted. I hope that everyone who sees it will be moved to think about what it is to be a child growing up today.
    It was a wonderful project to be involved in. I remember asking the children to think of questions that they would like to ask the ancient oak tree. They then moved around putting their questions to others who answered as if they were the tree. Wonderful stuff!