Image: Jo Lane, ‘tendrils’ 2017, photography, drawing on paper, video. From ‘Against Static’, UK 2018 [page header only, no relation to this TREE project]

“More than a decade of drought, severe water restrictions and periods of extreme heat, combined with an ageing tree stock, have put our trees under immense stress and many are now in a state of accelerated decline…Combined with this loss, Melbourne’s urban forest is facing two significant future challenges: climate change and urban growth.”

Introduction to City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Project

CLIMARTE is mounting an exhibition of artwork depicting and communicating the lives of City of Melbourne trees.  Trees face a dangerously warming world, among other threats. Life has a layered dialogue with trees in the city context. Trees in urban settings have circumstances not experienced by trees in non urban environments.

Offering shade, oxygen, habitat, comfort, beauty and more, day in day out, year after year, the City of Melbourne’s 70,000+ trees are an extraordinary, silent ‘asset’.

CLIMARTE called for artworks of and about a tree; a tree from the City of Melbourne’s celebrated Urban Forest project.


Using the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Visual as a guide, artists were invited to create a work that honours and advocate for a particular tree living in the City of Melbourne.

Artists were encouraged to consider the City of Melbourne’s trees on a micro and macro scale, addressing aspects such as (but not limited to) their roles in:

●      cooling the city

●      cleansing the air while absorbing carbon dioxide and generating oxygen

●      acting as networks supporting local flora and fauna

●      mirroring all life systems (ie sap acts like mammal blood, communications like nervous systems, leaves act like lungs)

●      providing exquisite examples of fractal patterning as they grow and expand; and

●      serving as invaluable landmarks that interface with CoM buildings from all architectural periods and the built environment generally.

For inspirational interest we have pleasure putting these links here:

Trees at Night: Rebecca Solnit Reads and Reflects on a Stunning Century-Old Poem by the Young Harlem Renaissance Poet Helene Johnson


●      Exhibition dates: October 11th to 22nd 2022 at fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne   >

Submissions were assessed by a panel,  composed of Tim Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Councillor Jamal Hakim, portfolio lead for Creative Melbourne and deputy portfolio lead for City Activation and Health, Wellbeing and Belonging, Guy Abrahams, CLIMARTE Co-Founder and Ambassador, and two CLIMARTE Committee Members.

This is a unique project that creatively depicts and celebrates Melbourne's trees and raises awareness of the City of Melbourne’s critically important Urban Forest Strategy.

In the context of the Climate Emergency, the aim of this project is to enable artists and audiences to imagine Melbourne life through the perspective of its trees, to create a new awareness of urban trees and to understand their critical importance to all life in the city.

TREE is made possible through a City of Melbourne Arts and Creative Investment Partnerships project grant for 2022.

The artists included are (alphabetical order)

Katherine Boland, Michelle Burns,
Olga Dziemidowicz, Erica Dunkley,  Ariella Friend, Janice Gobey , Rod Gray, Lauren Guymer,
Robbie Harmsworth, Zoé Haynes-Smith¸
Heather Hesterman, Bridget Hillebrand,
Kathy Holowko & Sarah Moore, Todd Johnson,
Linda Judge, Martin King, Susie Lachal,
Nancy Lliang, Zahra Marsous, Jarrad Martyn,
Jan McLellan Rizzo, Julia Schmitt, Ben Sibley, Charlotte Watson, Barbara Wheeler.

Any queries to:


We thank the City of Melbourne

TREE is made possible through a City of Melbourne Arts and Creative Investment Partnerships project grant.