Portfolio > Re-Forestation: How to Make a Tree from a Chair 2013

Re-Forestation Installation at Canberra Museum and Gallery
Re-Forestation Installation at Canberra Museum and Gallery
Reclaimed broken wood furniture
Dimensions Vary

Front to back:
a. Ecru cabriole tree with Chair #39: 262 x 112 x 100 cm (tree) and 83 x 43 x 43 cm (chair); Four ecru dining chairs with Cabriole legs.
b. Mission brown bud tree with Chair #30: 260 x 180 x 167 cm (tree) and 84 x 43 x 43 cm (chair); Four large diameter turned bedposts, four square sectioned dining table legs, curved back rail of dining chair, spindled head and footboards from twin bed, one crib rail, blanket stand with turned legs.
c. Blonde Palm Tree with Chair #33: 213 x 230 x 230 cm (tree) and 83 x 47 x 47 cm (chair); Four large diameter turned table legs, twin bed spindled head and footboards, turned pedestal table base, four slat backed dining chairs.
d. Oval leaf tree with Chair #11: 255 x 125 x 125 cm (tree) and 99 x 48 x 43 cm (chair); Spindled head and footboards of twin bunk bed, blanket stand with turned legs, turned legs from dining chair, single round leg.

The items in the install consist of four “trees” made from broken timber furniture reclaimed from the local dump displayed next to their source materials, the reclaimed discarded chairs that have not yet been deconstructed. This installation stems from research into rates of world timber harvesting, global consumption of new wooden furniture, and municipal waste per nation measured through landfill growth. Re-Forestation addresses repercussions of consumer culture, specifically the out-of-balance cycle of casually discarding older, yet salvageable, furniture and so easily replacing it with cheap, semi-disposable furniture. The prevailing manufacture/consumer system overlooks the true costs of timber harvesting, underpaid labor, and garbage. The ratio between the time and resource it takes to grow a tree and the fleeting lifespans of contemporary furniture is perverse. Working with the local tip, I have retrieved abject and abandoned wooden furniture destined for landfill, and have regenerated the timber for a third life, a return to trees. These trees are not realistic arboreal renderings, rather harbingers of what we will be left with when input to landfills outpaces the stewardship of forests.