TREES collaborate

OXFORDSHIRE

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ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Plant material from trees and hedgerows all over the county were gathered by different groups in the Trees Collaborate network and made into pigments. The materials contributed to the exhibit include leaves and bark from the Radley oak, a huge cathedral-like tree on the grounds of Radley College; arroyo willow leaves and twigs and cherry tree blossom from Moorfield Park in Banbury; willow twigs from Bruern Farms and elder twigs from Farm-Ed both based near Chipping Norton; hawthorn leaves from a tree central to new planting of a copse on the Swinbrook Estate in Burford; branches of a christmas tree guerrilla-planted in a community woodland in Woodstock; leaves and berries from a hawthorn and berries from a spindle tree in the Watlington Hedgerow Project Survey; bark and leaves from a crack willow near Charlbury Canoe Club which is home to roosting bats and field maple leaves from Marston Forest Garden at the entrance to the allotments. 

The pigments were then mixed with a plastic VOC-free paint which absorbs CO2. It is a traditional artisanal lime-based product, mixed with graphene which absorbs CO2 during the 30-day curing  process. The evidenced and accredited data from the company, Graphenstone, measures the CO2 absorption rate of 45 litres of paint in 30 days, equating to that of a 250kg tree over the period of a year. This aligns and resonates perfectly with one of the main aims of increasing tree cover in Oxford and the wider county: sequestering carbon. 

This Oxfordshire-pigmented eco-paint has been painted, in patchwork blocks, onto a reclaimed timber door frame, the shape of which echoes the screens through which the Trees Collaborate Group operates. A documentary film by Nicola Schafer accompanies this piece and shows the making of the exhibit. 

about the Artist(s)

Jules Bishop is an artist who wants a society with a caring operating system and a planet with a future. She has developed an artistic practice using a broad range of mediums including sculpture, video art, performance, ‘happenings’, print, drawing, dialogue and natural pigments. Intersectional, her practice crosses disciplines in the humanities, (history, geography, psychology & language), in the sciences, (plant biology, chemistry & physics), and in maths and technology. The heart of her practice is within the social arts, connecting with communities, and using practice-based research to  create works which raise awareness and facilitate depth of engagement. The result is a versatile  practice of poetic activism.

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Artist(s) Information: 

Jules Bishop: www.julesbishop.com

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about the group

Over the course of the past two years, the Trees Collaborate Group has grown from strength to strength. A collaboration between CAG, Oxford Friends of the Earth and the OxTrees initiative, the group meets online on a monthly basis to discuss a different topic relating to trees and how to increase tree cover in Oxford and the rest of the county. It is made up of groups based in the city and the wider county network. There are between 10 and 20 groups who attend on a regular basis and they include the Radley Environment Group, Banbury Trees, Transition Chipping Norton,  Burford Tree Initiative, Sustainable Woodstock, Watlington Climate Action Group, Marston Forest Garden and Charlbury Town Council’s Land and Nature Group. 

Planting trees for carbon sequestration and biodiversity are the key principles of the group. It provides an informal space where the groups can meet, have topical discussions, share tips, information, and get advice. The topics have included rewilding, community orchards, street trees, hedgerows, forest gardens, and a unique initiative to Oxford: tree opportunity mapping. This county-wide collaborative space champions our natural world and the efforts we make to protect and enhance it.