Speaking to the Trees of New Horizons 2019

Webb Gallery, Queensland Sculpture on the Edge; Spicers Tamrind Resort Maleny 

A Painted Landscape by Paula Payne

Site specific ephemeral installation by Paula Payne

I would like to pay my respects and acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and elders past and present; and to acknowledge the role that these magnificent Bunya trees hold in Indigenous culture. On consultation with locals and a traditional elder I was told that,

“The Bunya trees are sacred trees, and that in this area there were many gatherings at the harvest of the Bunya nuts. Many clans came for miles and performed ritual and ceremony among the trees to connect and to gather the protein rich harvest.”[1]


The concept of Speaking to the Trees of New Horizons, highlights a need for connection to the natural environment and an acknowledgment and respect for the history and memories embedded in a place. I encourage the viewer to connect to this place, to see themselves as part of the natural environment, and to breath in these sacred trees that hold many stories of recent and ancient times.


I feel that the challenge for artists is to rediscover sacredness in the 21stcentury by initiating new ways of connecting the global community that aid in the development of an age of ecological and cultural awareness. I ask the question? can environmental art transcend boundaries by connecting humans and the environment through aesthetics and social interactions. My painted landscapes draw attention to a place through conceptual interventions that highlight aspects of the land that may not have been contemplated.  I feel that how we conceive of and contemplate the land effects how we treat the land.

Consider this work as a large painted drawing in the landscape. The process is to select and delineate bands of soft non-toxic clay slurry painted on a number of trees to create a site-specific installation.. The colour pigments are visible yet at dusk and in different light situations the emphasis may change. The ephemeral painted landscape will dissolve and evolve through changing surfaces and fall from the trees over a period of time.



[1]In conversation with Bianca Beetson; Kabi Kabi

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