This new body of work seeks to draw attention to a future trajectory of life under climbing temperatures where large canopy trees cease to exist in the suburban landscape. The unearthly revving of early morning chainsaws as large canopy trees are cut down is a nearly daily sound where I live in the south-eastern suburbs of Naarm/Melbourne. It’s also not uncommon to see trees poisoned, their brown leaves and dying trunks telltale signs new McMansions, pools and extensions are about to be built in their place. Many new houses and units are built with no provision or space for canopy trees.
Large trees ameliorate the heat island effect and lower temperatures around a house, and in a warming climate that this is not known or cared about by many homeowners is a tragedy.
The state government needs to step up and amend the laws to protect our urban natural environment or as Dr. Seuss’s 1971 cautionary tale The Lorax points out, we will all be the poorer for their inaction.
Vicki Mason (b New Zealand) completed a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies at the University of Otago, a Diploma in Craft Design from Otago Polytechnic School of Art (Jewellery) and in 2012 completed a Master of Philosophy degree (Research) in Gold and Silversmithing (ANU). She runs production and exhibition practices and teaches. Awarded many grants and awards including the prestigious Australia Council for the Arts Barcelona Studio residency, Vicki’s work is held in public and private collections both nationally and internationally. She interviews for Art Jewelry Forum and is on the board of the World Crafts Council – Australia.
Image: Canopy (detail), powdercoated brass/sterling silver, linen, hemp, cotton, wool, silk, stainless steel, acrylic/enamel paint, textile paint/ink. Largest - 16.5 x 11.5 x 4.5 cm, 2023. Photographer: Henry Trumble. Courtesy of Craft Victoria