1. Zorica Purlija - finished work

My Submission shows current work from a trip to Melbourne recently, I was staying at the Ovolo Hotel and photographed outside of my window.I would like to imagine the tree in the laneway as a benevolent tree feeding us oxygen while we sleep, I propose to show a triptych with the tree as monster coming to warn us, it is a humorous request to see from the trees point of view.

These are the finished works, it was great seeing the call out as I just recently came from a short trip from Melbourne where I took a lot of photos. I tend to make images from archive photos and use layering, so these new images are in the style of art I would make
The Location of my tree is Little Bourke street Melbourne. I would print 3 X A2 High gloss Photographs, title The magic of trees.

BIO and more about Zorica here > https://www.zoricapurlija.com.au/bio

Her website:



2. Julia Schmitt - concept for a work

Please see attached 3 images of works completed within the last 12 months that showcase a range of natural and architectural landscapes. I will combine these subjects to create a work that represents how Melbourne City trees fit into the built landscape.

Please also see attached a sketch of the estimated finished work. I will upscale this to a size between A3 and A2 and the work will be micron pen on paper.

It is of the Olderfleet building area at the Southern Cross end of Collins Street.

My statement for this proposed work is:
“Trees draw us in with their imposing stature and incredible detail that parallels many of the stylistic and structural aspects of the old buildings in Melbourne. Thinking about the theme of this exhibition I was considering the places in the city where architecture and nature interact. I have always wanted to draw the Olderfleet building at the Southern Cross end of Collins Street however whenever I walk past I’m always vexed by how the plane trees obscure the facade. In drawing this location have challenged myself to instead view the trees as complements to the beauty and stately grandeur of this historic part of Melbourne”.

3. Jess Coldrey - concept for a work - sculptural

I’d like to apply with my concept Lophostemon Chandelier, which is a sculpture about urban cooling and the transpiration effect of trees.In 2016, the Australian native evergreen Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus) was identified as one of the trees most well-suited to Melbourne’s warming climate, partially due to its transpiration and cooling effect. Currently covering about 7% of Greater Melbourne’s streets, it’s a species I’d love to celebrate through the Urban Forest concept.

My pitch Lophostemon Chandelier showcases the art of biological transpiration with a combination of 3D scanning and delicate hand embellishments reminiscent of water droplets. This builds upon my body of work exploring nature through 3D modelling and my background as a geographer. I’m open to basing this model on a specific tree in Melbourne, although I’m currently overseas and may need some help identifying one.

The sculpture would be approximately 40 x 40 x 80 cm, and would be hung at eye height from an invisible fishing wire. I’ve attached a sketch and three example images.

Jess Coldrey | Humanitarian Engineer & Creative Technologist
John Monash Scholar, Agendo Art Prize Winner & AFRAN Laureate
+44 7484 378 135 |


4. Michelle Burns - concept for a work

Title of planned artwork: Decomposition

Medium of planned artwork: Oil paint on oil paint paper, mounted on panel, framed in a wooden float frame.

Description of planned artwork: Decomposition is the decay of a tree leaf, the title also references the word composition, as used in art. The artwork consists of the same leaf painted 6 times. Progressively becoming fainter from left to right. The first leaf on the left is green, becoming brown and then fades to white on the right. A stylised depiction of a leaf decaying. The painting shall be based on a leaf from the chosen tree in the City of Melbourne.

The planned artwork consists of six framed paintings on paper (5×7”)  For this submission the six paintings shall be considered as one multi-panelled artwork, with the intention to be offered for sale as one multi-panelled artwork.

I would like to have the opportunity to explore decomposing leaves and the role they play in the health of the city of Melbourne and in the ecosystem of the Carlton Gardens. I would like to learn more about the impact of global warming on leaf litter decomposition.

What tree have I chosen?:   Tree ID: 1036769

Name: Yellow Chestnut Oak, Querkus.

Location: Carlton Gardens North.

Why did I choose this tree?: I had a picnic with my family after a visit to the Melbourne Museum in Feb 2022. We sat on a blanket under the shade of a tree and watched our children play in the Carlton Gardens playground. We took some leaves home from the tree we sat under, as a memento. I was able to identify what tree this was from using the City of Melbourne Urban Forest Project website, tree ID:1036769.

Who am I?: I work night shift as a Sleep Scientist in the Respiratory Ward of a Public Hospital. Routinely observing carbon dioxide/oxygen in human respiration in a clinical setting. I also have a qualification in animation and worked in community arts previous to my scientific career. I am a painter interested in creating multi-panelled pieces that document time-passing and perception.

Name: Michelle Burns
Contact email: michelleburnsart@gmail.com

Contact mobile: 0402118249

Website: michelleburns.com.au

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michelleburnsart/

5. Katherine Boland - concept for a work

My submission for the TREE project based on a Moreton Bay Fig in Birdwood Ave, South Yarra (Tree ID: 1027836). My artwork would be in the form of a single photograph or a triptych, like an altar piece. See attached images as an example of the concept.


‘This work pays homage to an old Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus Macrophylla) on Birdwood Ave in South Yarra. Early tree planting in South Yarra dates to the 1850s and was driven by the desire to create windbreaks and establish shade. Some Moreton Bay Figs can grow as wide as an Australian cricket pitch! Moreton Bay Figs are actually rainforest trees, and I have always been amazed by their ability to adapt to city environments dominated by dense residential and commercial neighbourhoods, heavy traffic, open space parkland and constant human activity. As an RMIT art student in the 70s, I spent a lot of time in this area and in the nearby botanical gardens, either sitting under or sketching Moreton Bay Figs.

Many species of birds like pigeons and parrots eat the fruit of this tree. Interestingly, male and female flowers are produced inside the fruit where they are pollinated by tiny fig wasps. The female flowers then act like a womb in which the fig wasps reproduce.

The Moreton Bay Fig is characterised by its massive buttress roots which spread as wide as its broad canopy, sometimes damaging pavements, pipelines, and other structures. I have tried to capture the imposing, and to me, distinctly female spirit of this tree by digitally manipulating the photographs I took of it during a visit to Melbourne. The lower half of the image resembles the carved wooden base of an altar, the symmetrical root structure suggestive of female anatomy. On top of the altar sits an offering to Mother Earth, an extravagant bouquet of Ficus Macrophylla foliage honouring the adaptability and beauty of this magnificent tree. For the first time in Australia’s history, a whole generation of Moreton Bay Figs is entering its senescent phase and many trees are now dying from old age and disease. We should appreciate these grand and graceful giantesses in our cities while we can.’

6. Zoé Haynes-Smith - concept for a work - lenticular photographic

(NOTE: I have left artist spelling mistakes)

Trees provide oxygen and limit carbon in the atmosphere. They reduce air pollution, provide food and shelter for wildlife, minimise erosion and maintain healthy soil, increase rainfall, and absorb sunlight as energy. Simply, trees are an essential component of life and are the oldest living species on earth.  Trees are also beneficial for healing “A view of trees can help hospital patients recover faster by reducing blood pressure and stress. In fact, studies have found that just 3-5 minutes spent looking at nature can help reduce anger, anxiety and pain, inducing relaxation”  patients need less pain-relieving medication, they are better patients and they need to stay in hospital for a shorter period of time, so surrounding hospitals with views of trees can improve both healthcare and economic efficiency.” The idea of trees being beneficial for healing also imparts itself on those who work and live in Melbourne relieving stress and anxiety of the busyness of the city.

Having only spent longer periods of time in Melbourne myself visiting and caring for loved ones in hospital  both at Alfred Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital I have seen the benefits trees have on healing  and on reflection of the art pieces I created at the time were  of the trees that I saw and connected with at both those hospitals. To continue on from this occurence and phenomonon I propose to use the tree outside the Royal  Women’s hospital in Parkville within a new artwork . I have used a fisheye lens to capture the whole tree as it transitions from summer to Autumn and will return later in the year to capture it in Winter with bare branches with the same lens, those images will then be used to create my lenticular photographic art work which when viewed from one angle will show the upright image of the tree with leaves and from the opposite angle will show the upside down bare tree which represents its roots and wisdom and healing energy . Ive attached a video  of the idea using different coloured leaves on the tree to give you an idea of what I mean. The folded lenticular image will then be printed on fine art paper folded and then profesionally mounted and framed within a shadowbox to accomodate the thickness of the paper folds .once folded the image will be 40cm x 40cm.

Terrific Trees -a compilation of moving Images celebrating trees



7. Lauren Guymer - concept for a work

Concept description:
Using the Urban Forest Map, I have created a concept for a series of two paintings that depict Eucalyptus Trees and their surrounding environment at the Trin Warren Tam-Boore and the Australian Native Garden, both located in Royal Park in Parkville. Artwork 1: 1051893 (Trin Warren)  Artwork 2: 1055649 (Aus garden) .

The paintings will also include the plants I identified on location using the iNaturalist App.

At the forefront of each painting are a grand tree and the plants found in each area. Through these works, I wish to highlight the all-encompassing importance of Trees within the environment. But more specifically, their ability to work as a natural filtration system, offset stormwater and filter pollution. These are a few qualities of many that highlight how important trees are and what they can provide, particularly in the built environment.

The two works will be painted on separate pieces of paper but joined together by the bodies of water located at each place. I hope to display the works side-by-side to emphasise the interconnected ecosystems. They will be painted using contemporary watercolour techniques on cotton paper, sized at 100x90cm each. Please note that I would be happy to include only one work if there are constraints on space.

Lauren Guymer – Her Website & CV: https://www.laurenguymer.com/

8. Gabrielle Willim - concept for a work

Submission concept:

Trees filter the city’s air and allow us to breathe. In the same way, watching the leaves in the breeze out the window or while on a walk filters for our mind and allows our soul to breathe more deeply. My piece, likely titled ‘Filter’, will centre on a Melaleuca Paperbark, such as the tree identified below (Melaleuca linariifolia). This particular tree has served as an air filter for me personally, waiting at the lights while riding my bike under the nearby tollway on busy Racecourse Road.

Dropped bark from the tree will be collected from the asphalt, pavement and surrounds. It will then be retted, mixed with fibre from high quality watercolour papers if needed, and drawn into circular paper sheets using a deckle/mould. The effect is resonant of coffee filters, yet draws attention to the individual tree from which this paper was made. These sheets will be layered with use of both paper tolle and paper cut techniques to create depth and strata, similar to the layering of bark and rings within the trunk of a tree. Edges will be amplified using watercolour and/or burning to create contrast. These shapes will depict the canopy of the tree, perhaps as if sheltered from below the tree looking upwards toward the sky and toll bridge, the leaves filtering the noise and light.

tree ID : 1290326

9. Vicki Mason - concept for a work

Title of work – Canopy cover

The stunning Magnolia grandiflora tree (ID 1033563) opposite the NGV international on St Kilda Road in Queen Victoria Gardens is a tree that I know well. I have walked past it week in and week out and year in and year out for the twenty-one years I’ve lived in Melbourne. Not only beautiful, old, and stately, its mature canopy provides shade to passers-by. My work will honour this tree but also highlight its role in helping keep our hard surfaced city environs cooler through helping ameliorate the heat island effect.

This work will utilise a range of mixed media materials. Painted dried magnolia leaves, sourced as leaf litter from magnolias near where I live, will radiate outward from the centre of the work. The circular form of the work, that references the aerial perspective of a tree’s canopy, takes its inspiration from landscape drawings where trees are often depicted from a bird’s-eye-view. Its mandala like form will aid in focussing attention not only on the beauty of the leaves from which it will be made, but also on the sacred role trees play in our lives.

The dried foliage will be painted in shades of blue (to symbolise water vapor release) and green. The leaves will be stitched with clear nylon fishing line onto a round canvas board. The undulating edges of the dried leaves will cast shadows on the backing canvas emphasising notions of coolness and shade. The use of cool jewel like colours will highlight the precious role leaves play in not only providing shade but will also reference the palette of cooler tones thermal images depict when they are employed to represent an environment’s temperatures.

Our urban forest trees intercept sunlight, reducing the amount of energy that is absorbed by surrounding surfaces, which in turn lowers temperatures on scorching hot days. ‘Canopy cover’ will be both a meditative homage that gives thanks to this southern magnolia with its leathery shady leaves and broad mature canopy, while also drawing attention to the reprieve it and other city trees offer us in a climate wherever hotter temperatures are becoming the norm.

Vicki Mason
12 Belinda Crescent
Wheelers Hill VIC 3150 Melbourne
0413 683 105
03 9560 2249

10. Charlotte Watson - completed work

This is a concertina that was completed in 2020, and happens to reference the Corymbias included in CoM Urban Trees, in Fitzroy Gardens.

I understand it may not quite fit the brief in the more scientific way as described.

Artwork details:
‘Gathered Arms’
Pencil on paper concertina. 2020.
100 x 15cm.

This concertina is an acknowledgment of trees as teacher. Often walking through Fitzroy Gardens I found myself gravitating toward the towering, slender height of the Corymbia Citriodora. Their smooth trunks and wrinkled limbs reminded me of an ancestor, a mother figure, or a protector. I began to repeatedly seek them out during the lockdowns, as while they couldn’t directly ‘speak’, still had much to teach me about a way of being.


11. Todd Johnson - concept for a work

Photograph to be printed 100x100cm (framed).

I propose to produce a new photographic work in response to one tree along the Yarra River. For example: Allocasauarina Drooping Sheoak Tree ID: 1063081.
It will be created using the same method/materials as these images.

These photographs were shot on an expired slide film stock, and later submerged in elements of the environment itself. Gradually, the film became malleable, as minerals, bacteria and pollution of the water slowly disintegrated the medium into an unpredictable material abstraction. Tree fragments were then used to scratch away at the film emulsion. As a printed photograph, the paper itself has been subtlety exposed to environmental influences (heat, wind, insects), having been left outside in the weather to endure its vicissitudes. These decaying photographs examines the devastation and violence inflicted upon the landscape; a fate mimicked in the now obsolete medium used to record it.

Mr. Todd Reece Johnson
Photography Lecturer and PhD Candidate at Deakin University
Unit Coordinator and Lecturer at Deakin College

Todd’s website: http://www.todd-reece-johnson.com

12. Nina Killham - concept for a work, photographic

Every day I walk through the north end of Melbourne’s Royal Park. I cannot believe that I am in the city. I look up through the eucalyptus and marvel at the white branches dancing and the soft blue green leaves giddy in the sun. Mainly I see tree faces watching me curiously as I walk by.

There’s a group of them, hanging out by the railroad tracks. They have attitude, and if you look closer, you will notice that they lean forward to chat, a branch curled above their head, a gentle elbow poking each other as a joke.

I call them the Royals.

I don’t know what they call me, but I catch them eyeing me back. They seem to turn towards me when I appear, curious about the camera, presenting their good side. Of course, they have no bad side and I like to swirl around them, getting close to their bark, snapping every gesture, every expression.

I see smiles, goofy grins and the sheer joy of breathing in CO2 and gifting us oxygen. I also see distress and nervousness, and the question: When are you going to tackle climate change? During the lockdown I spent hours with the trees and put together a website about deforestation in Australia called treegazing.com. I also advocate for trees on twitter @ninakillham

I find the bark and the sway of city trees to be particularly vibrant. And I love the way the Royal Park has carpeted their roots with long native grasses and has left fallen trunks on the ground to house bees and other insects. Here the trees are protected in their very own Serengeti. By day the parrots screech by, by night bats soar silently above.

In the exhibition I would show a selection of photographs of bark close-ups, group tree selfies, and full-length photos to demonstrate each tree’s distinct personality and how they relate to their corner of the park where they are passed daily, often unseen, by people on bikes, in cars, and in trains. I want to encourage people to notice the trees around them, in the local parks, along the streets, and to see the personalities of these beautiful beings who are so essential to city life.

I am including six photos: The Pom Pom Girls, The Lion in Winter, I See You, Can You See Me?, Morning Star, The Girls From The Hood, and City Sirens

13. Heather Merrylees - concept for a work

My proposed artwork is made up of multiple views, micro and macro landscapes of the urban forest:

Solascape – Vibrant green leaf cells bright with cytoplasmic streaming mirroring the whirling busy traffic of the urban ways. The light of the sun is the focus of growth on and on.

Aeroscape – Tree pollen floating on the spring breeze, magnified as translucent golden jewels, microscopic beauty revealed, geometric and organic shapes, molten honey.

Terrascape – Tree roots burgeoning, swelling in a wrestle with tarmac and cement, the dark under the pavement, mycelium symbioses, roots searching for water.

Lunascape – Trees in the blue of night lit by the warm glow of streetlights and the hint of a moon – the electricity grid mirroring the connections, the vascular system of the urban forest.

Inspiration & Influences: SEM and Light Microscopy – especially from time working at the Melbourne Pollen Count and Forecast and the Jim Willis Studentship at the National Herbarium of Victoria and Master of Science in Botany; the gracefulness of Art Nouveau especially Sydney Long’s depiction of trees; SolarPunk

Media: Likely paint on paper, or digital print, photography, mixed media

LAST. Jo Lane - concept for a work

As an artist I have made many works about trees – for one simple reason – love. I also commenced my art practice by studying botanical art. The tree in this proposal has meant a lot to me in my life as I have passed it countless times, and stopped to nearly as many times.  As Producer of this Project, I would not consider any remuneration for a work to be part of the Project, but rather, if the Assessors believe it worthy of inclusion add it to the 25, therefore be the 26th work, on exhibition.

I was unable to stop myself from contributing to the process of this wonderful Project.

Ulmus, Golden Elm : Mature

Tree ID : 1028612

As a young 20 something in Melbourne, that tree’s existence made South Yarra cool (not in a temperature sense). I have loved her for many, many years- and always remember her as huge.
I have chosen the autumn state as think she’s in her older years, one arm propped by helping humans, a few dead bits and a bit more rambly than she was. But I remember her symmetry, that made her all the cooler … today the symmetry is a bit skew whiff.
Her resplendent leaves akin to one for every minute of her life .. yet produced and shed each and every year.

I am unsure why I call this tree a she, but this is how I feel about her.

She stands like a sentinel as the human, trafficked world that is the corner of Punt Road and Alexander Ave goes on around her, as things pass beneath her and as seasons cycle on and on.
Her root space is shared with all that comes with underground modernity, that has nothing to do with tissue nourishment, yet still she stands with her dignity intact.

I have read that she is the most emailed tree.  I know I am not alone in the love for this tree – it has been my honour to consider her as an artwork.

I propose that the tree will be drawn/painted on Arches paper and that the base of the trunk end at the bottom of the decal edge paper. There will be a second piece of paper, butting up against this edge, displaying the imagined root system, which somehow is a mirrored network. This will indicate a horizontal symmetry dance of what is above ground and what is below.   I can only guess what her underground root system looks like. But I do know that beneath must be many things including wires, tunnels, layers of road ‘surface’ and plumbing.

I may create it in the autumn colour flush – or just go monochrome – celebrating her beautiful form and structure.

SIZE proposed 76 wide x 112 high

Website: jolane.com