The Tree Of Lost And Found
This project was adapted from The Cabinet of Lost and Found and Papercuts by Camilla Lawson, Robert Pavlacic and The Red Room Company. It combined poetry and sculpture in an intriguing and innovative way.
2042: art on the street
For two weeks each year Newtown retailers turn their shop fronts over to emerging artists and community groups in a vibrant celebration of creativity, turning one of Sydney’s most famous streets, King Street, into a gallery. In 2008, this unique arts festival was located in the heart of Newtown and embraced public spaces including Newtown Plaza, Newtown Neighbour Centre and Telstra Square. 2042: art on the street is an initiative of Inner West Cultural Services, a community based non-profit company dedicated to assisting communities and artists working creatively together.
We worked with Year 6 students at Newtown Public School through classroom workshops, to create the tree’s foliage. Students took two poetry workshops: in the first, they wrote about a special or talismanic object that belonged to them, then tied this poem onto a special location on the tree; in the second session, they chose a poem on the tree and wrote a found poem in response to it, which they tied on to the original. Students also took an art installation workshop led by Camilla Lawson which assisted them with turning poems into artworks and sculptures for public display.
Once the street-based sculpture was installed on King Street, other people could interact with the work. Through this participation and activity, the installation grew over the period of the festival, connecting otherwise disparate groups of people. In late September 2008 the Tree moved from the street into the foyer at Carriageworks. There, the public could add their own found poems.