Portfolio > Australia Council for the Arts

Meares Island Nurse Log
Meares Island Nurse Log
Salvaged wooden chairs, acrylic and milk paints
2015

In researching the new body of work Feral: Rewilding Furniture, I was able to visit Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. I paddled a kayak out to Meares Island to explore the old growth temperate rainforest, the protection for which was hard fought by first peoples. The lush, fecund forest was simultaneously growing and decomposing, brimming with entanglement and life.
This work is directly inspired by the presence of “nurse logs” on Meares Island. The decomposing log from a fallen tree hosts an exponentially greater amount and diversity of life than a living tree, but is often seen as a rotten, dead and useless hunk of debris. Clearing this type of material from the forest floor reduces the vitality of the ecosystem, and human efforts to tidy-up is a detrimental impulse driven by desire for order over wilderness. This work is made from components of many school desk-chairs.