The original premise of the One Forest Wishing Tree project was to create a symbol of hope and togetherness for the future.My role was to curate a shared communal wish made from those of individuals all over the world.
People can be brought together through creating artwork collaboratively. In this age of fragmented relationships, increasing xenophobia and a pace of life that so often seems unnatural and unsustainable, we need the arts more than ever as a way to express our shared humanity.
In order to change anything, whether tackling a globally significant issue such as climate change or simply looking to make one person’s life less lonely, we need to help each other. My practice is centred around finding ways to facilitate this.
This project (my final piece of work for my Masters in Illustration and Authorial Practice at Falmouth University) was originally going to be focusing on children’s responses to the climate change crisis. Leaves made of recycled paper had been cut out and were ready to be sent to primary schools around the globe, asking each child to create their own wishing leaf – they could draw on it, paint it, collage, write something, whatever they wanted, but the brief was this: “If you could wish the world better, what would that look like? What would your wish be?” The leaves would then be posted back, scanned in and made into some kind of artwork or publication and then installed on a wishing tree sculpture I was making for our final show in September 2020.
Now, of course, we all find ourselves in a very different position. With the threat of the Coronavirus closing schools around the globe and keeping us in isolation, I would like this project to be a response to that and a way of bringing us all together.
A link to the blog for this project and accompanying critical publication can be found here. An accompanying book is also available, priced £10, featuring all of the leaves in the original animation. Please email email@example.com to place your order.
To contribute a leaf to the animation, please download a leaf by right-clicking on an image and saving to your computer, then email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/oneforestwishingtree