Treewhispers is an ongoing international collaboration awakening our heart felt connection to trees. Opportunities to participate and connect through the project abound through art and papermaking, performance, storytelling, and site-specific installations. Click on Share Your Story to see how you can participate and BLOG for ongoing information.
Trees have a profound impact on our lives. Trees are symbols, resources—inspiration. In remembering our own personal experiences with trees we deepen our appreciation, our awareness, our connection to trees, to the earth and to others.
We all have at one time in our life experienced a tree in one way or another. We climbed trees with our friends seeing who could climb the highest, built a tree house that was our refuge, walked through a cool dense forest in the springtime, plucked a ripe red apple off a tree, speculated on what kind of a tree we would be…on a hot summer evening did you run to a tree for safe base when you played tag?
Somewhere with in you there is a tree story. Just as the rings of a tree embody the stories of the tree, so too do we carry the stories of trees.
These stories inspire us to renew our sense of wonder.
They connect us to one another through shared experiences as they deepen our understanding to our connection with nature. Many of us discovered that trees listen quite well and some may even speak to those who listen closely. Treewhispers allows the message to reverberate.
How have trees nurtured, calmed, influenced, affected, protected you?
More about the project
The project has been presented in a multitude of venues while gathering round, handmade papers from participants around the world. On the papers, contributors have remembered a tree or the spirit of a tree.
Some contributions are simply a magnificent example of beautiful handmade paper and some include text and/or imagery. Some suggest tree rings, depict leaves or illustrate a personally significant tree; others are imprinted with a poem or a meaningful story relating to trees.
and the trees…
The handmade paper is bound together to create large tree assemblages and ultimately a graceful and peaceful forest of hanging paper rounds for the growing, ever-changing installation. The art of hundreds of participants has been exhibited at colleges, museums, libraries and art centers. It includes the work of professional artists displayed alongside elementary school class projects.
and your contribution…
You too are invited to join the Treewhispers forest sharing your tree story on-line or on paper
In answer to FAQ:
* Who can participate? Anyone with a tree story: artists, students, scientists, doctors and dendrologists—elders and wee ones, professional and novice. I’m convinced everyone has a tree story.
* What’s the deadline? There is no deadline since the project is ongoing.
* Is there a theme? If you haven’t guessed it already, the theme is the tree—your personal stories, art, poetry, experiences relating to tree in any media on flat, round, handmade paper. For instance, ask yourself the questions: Did you ever climb a tree, plant a tree, have a favorite tree, or name a tree? Share your own personal connection to a tree whatever it may be. Sometimes simple stories are the most profound.
* Do I make my own paper rounds? You can or you can collaborate with a papermaker.
* How do I make handmade paper at home? Directions for simple papermaking using recycled paper are on the website. Sometimes groups gather for the purpose of papermaking for contributing as a group experience—especially on Arbor Day, Earth Day or Tu B’Shevat. Sometimes home-schoolers or scout troops make paper then gather the tree stories from another generational sector such as parents or grandparents. It’s another chance to be creative.
* What are the size requirements? There are no size restrictions—flat, round, handmade paper.
* How many rounds/contributions can I make? You can make one or multiples. It takes many to make a tree! If you do make multiples or have a batch to send, please do not bind them. They will be bound in house specifically for the installation.
* Will they be returned? No, the work becomes the property of Treewhispers and will not be returned. The project is ongoing and the work will travel with the installation. Images of the work may be used for publicity purposes, the website and catalogs.
* Where should I send them? Please mail them to: Treewhispers, Pamela Paulsrud, 923 Amherst, Wilmette, IL 60091 USA
* How will I know Treewhispers receives them? If you send your e-mail with the work or write to me on the Treewhispers website I will let you know when they arrive. After that, sign up here at the Treewhispers website and stay tuned.
* Does the text have to be in English? No. The collaboration is international, so please use your native language. I would highly appreciate an English translation written on the back or on paper in accompaniment with the handmade paper round.
* Should I sign my work? It is interesting and fun to see where the work originates and who is contributing but it’s up to you whether you sign it or not. Some work is signed and dated—some on the front—some on the back—some work comes anonymously.
*Will my work be in the installation? All work that arrives at least a month before the exhibition date meeting the criteria will be included. (Criteria being flat, round, handmade paper with a tree story, art, poetry—sometimes the paper speaks for itself.) Work received after that date will be included in the next installation.
* How is the “tree”/installation hung? The rounds are strung in house in roughly 5 ft. segments which can be connected together to hang in galleries with varying ceiling heights. This method also serves the purpose to rotate the work from one exhibit to the next. For instance, your work may be near the ceiling in one exhibit and at eye level the next. Also some work hangs on the wall.
* Where will the installation be next? Treewhispers is awaiting the next invitation. Stay tuned!
Please contact Treewhispers.com for information if you are a gallery or space interested in bringing the Treewhispers installation to you.
* Is there another way to participate? You can also post your stories, poetry and photos honoring trees as well as your papermaking process directly here on the Treewhispers.com website or on the Treewhispers Facebook page. Spread the word and stay tuned!